There may be another hidden planet in our solar system

forget the tenth planet; A hidden planet the size of Mars seems more plausible.

Several planets outside our solar system have been discovered in recent years. But maybe it’s time to take a critical look at our system, because there may also be a planet hidden in it. That’s what researchers at Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. It would be a planet about the same size as Mars or barely as large as Earth and still far from Neptune’s orbit.

Researcher Catherine Falk asserts in her speech that this conclusion is not based on new research or new insights Scientias. nl. “The research paper is a review, which means that we summarize and respond to published work. So we do not provide any new evidence of new planets in the outer solar system.”

ninth planet
It does not make the scientists’ conclusion any less interesting. Because based on all those publications by his colleagues, Falk and his colleagues still state that it seems plausible that our solar system would have a ninth planet. Or at least hosted Planet Nine in the past. Falk says there are several indications of this. “Our models describing the history of the outer extensions of our solar system indicate that, in addition to the gas giants known to us, there may have been at least 20 to 30 Earth masses of material, of which the current inhabitants of Trans-Neptune (objects outside the orbit of Neptune, ed.). Objects of a wide range of sizes—even dwarf planets—would have formed in this disk of matter and it seems unlikely that we would have actually observed the largest objects born from this disk.” In addition, there are a number of perihelionic trans-Neptunian objects (tnos) ( The point in its orbit where it is closest to the Sun) is far from our parent star. “Its presence is difficult to explain with the current architecture of the solar system.” Things would change if we provided the young solar system with an extra planet the size of Mars or Earth that was pushed deeper into space than this disk of matter or even left the solar system at some point. Along the way, such a planet may have radically changed the orbits of some microorganisms. “These are all factors that support the idea that objects much larger than the dwarf planets known to us can be found in this original disk of material found in the outer reaches of our solar system.”

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tenth planet
The story may sound familiar to you. This may be true. Years ago, researchers also reported that our solar system is home to nine planets. This ninth planet – also referred to as Planet X – is also said to be located in the outer reaches of the solar system. But where Faulk and his colleagues now hint at a planet the size of Mars or Earth, Planet X would be much larger than Earth. “Literary evidence for a large ‘Planet X’ is inconclusive at this point,” says Falk. “She believes that a search for a ninth planet is likely to lead to the discovery of an object the size of Mars.”

Planet Nine or not?
If those searches yield anything, of course. Because what the review also makes clear is that it is not certain that our solar system contains nine planets. “There is currently no conclusive evidence for an additional planet in the Solar System,” Falk asserts. “The evidence for the existence of such a planet is interesting, but the proposed evidence for the existence of undiscovered planets is getting weaker rather than stronger as more new trans-Neptunian objects are discovered.” And even if our solar system generated a ninth planet, it has not yet been proven that it still exists in our solar system. “TNOs with distant perihelion remain the most convincing evidence for the idea that there are additional large celestial bodies that have influenced these microorganisms, but these bodies are not present in the Solar System anymore. Moreover, there are also other possible explanations for these microorganisms – Such as interactions with neighboring stars in the constellation of the sun’s birth – which cannot yet be ruled out.”

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gone forever
If our solar system counted a ninth planet, but at some point it slipped into interstellar space, we are unlikely to find that planet again. “If one or more planets were ejected from the solar system, it likely happened about 4 billion years ago,” Falk said. So no, we won’t be able to find those planets again.”

If Planet Nine is still in the solar system, that’s a different story. “If there are currently larger planets in the outermost extensions of our solar system, the Vera Robin Observatory Legacy Survey (LSST) gives us the best chance of finding these. During this search, a large portion of the sky is searched for relatively faint objects. We expect this to lead To increase the number of trans-Neptunian objects known to us from a few thousand to several tens of thousands.” Falk asserts, but we still don’t know everything after scanning the space-time legacy. “Our picture of the outer reaches of the Solar System remains incredibly incomplete then, because orbiting objects spend most of their time at distances that do not reflect enough sunlight and are not bright enough to be detected. I certainly expect the LSST to detect some large trans-Neptune objects. But even Objects that are very large can be too far away to be detected.”

So it remains unclear whether our solar system includes a ninth planet and whether we can also observe it. But all of this uncertainty actually encourages researchers to continue (re) researching. If this research is successful, many books will have to be rewritten. Scientists certainly cannot sit idly by. The discovery will only be a prelude to follow-up studies. “Every additional large object we discover will help us better understand conditions in the young solar system.”

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