November 24, 2014

The planet that shouldn't exist: Astronomer discovers mysterious planet far beyond Neptune

The evidence for 'Planet X' - the mysterious hypothetical planet on the edge of our solar system - has taken a new turn thanks to the mathematics of a noted astronomer.

Rodney Gomes, an astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, says the irregular orbits of small icy bodies beyond Neptune imply that a planet four times the size of Earth is swirling around our sun in the fringes of the solar system.

Gomes measured the orbits of 92 Kuiper belt objects - small bodies and dwarf planets - and said that six objects appeared to be tugged off-course compared to their expected orbits.

Speaking at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society Rodney Gomes presented complex calculations and computer models, indicating the existence of this world as a genuine possibility.

He told astronomers at the AAS that the most likely reason for the irregular orbits was a 'planetary-mass solar companion' - a distant body of planet size that is powerful enough to move the Kuiper belt objects.

He suggested the planet would be four times bigger than Earth - around the size of Neptune and would be 140 billion miles from the sun, or about 1,500 times further than the Earth.

Planetary scientist Rodney Gomes of the National Observatory in Rio de Janeiro suggested that Planet X might be “extra solar.” Many of the sun’s siblings have their own planets, and it’s possible that these stars stole planets from each others’ gravitational pull.

Rodney Gomes not the first to suggest Planet X is behind Neptune.


 

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