Planet Nine Hypothesis
It wont to be easy to understand what percentage of planets there were: nine. It had been nine planets for a whole generation before scientists started rethinking what counts as a planet. Pluto is out, but some astronomers believe there’s a true ninth planet lurking out there. Others aren’t convinced, and therefore the debate is beginning to shift in favor of the earth’s nine skeptics.
Planet Nine Hypothesis Takes a Major Hit in New Study
To be clear, there are crackpots who, at various times, have claimed that a tenth (or ninth) planet was getting to hit Earth. The scientific debate over Planet Nine Hypothesis focuses on a 2016 study penned by astronomers Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin. In it, the pair shows how the weird orbits of various extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNO) might be the results of a huge, undiscovered object within the outer system.
Other scientists were understandably skeptical of those claims, but the evidence presented by Brown and Batygin wasn’t as easy to dismiss as conspiracy theories about Planet X. The orbits cited within the study are odd, and that they do support the thought there’s a huge something out there. We don’t know it’s a planet, though, and therefore the math suggests it should be substantially larger than Earth. So where is it?! Some scientists have speculated that Planet Nine may very well be a little region — in any case, the sole evidence we’ve for Planet Nine is gravity.
A new pre-print study led by the University of Michigan’s Kevin Napier posits an alternate explanation. Perhaps, the team says, the supposed clustering of ETNO orbits within the outer system is an illusion caused by biased data. consistent with Napier, it’s very hard to identify the small ETNOs at such great distances. So, astronomers need to adjust their telescopes to specialize in specific parts of the sky, listening to both the time of day and year. The result’s allegedly an incomplete view of ETNOs. So, the clustering isn’t really clustering — those are just the objects Brown and Batygin happened to catalog.
Planet Nine could also be the explanation for the clustering of ETNO orbits.
The team went a step further by checking in on 14 ETNOs that weren’t included within the initial Planet Nine paper. They found no indication these objects were being suffered from the supposed Planet Nine.
This study still must be peer-reviewed, but the team seems confident. a number of them are even out there talking smack on Twitter. Time will tell who’s right about this, but the earth Nine supporters are getting to need some new evidence to stay up the fight.