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Space Science Technology

Scientist Claims There's Even More Evidence of Planet Nine's Existence (theverge.com) 141

An anonymous reader cites an article on The Verge: More evidence is pointing toward a mysterious Neptune-sized planet lurking at the outer edges of our Solar System. One of the scientists who claimed in January to have found strong evidence for a ninth planet -- temporarily named 'Planet Nine' -- now says there are even more clues that support the world's existence. Mike Brown, a planetary astronomer at Caltech University, originally concluded that Planet Nine most likely exists after studying the behaviors of six objects in the Kuiper Belt -- the large cloud of icy bodies that orbit the Sun beyond Neptune. Now Brown is claiming that another Kuiper Belt object supports his theory. The object shares some of the same behavior as the other six Kuiper Belt bodies, suggesting it has also been pushed by a large planet that is between 200 and 1,200 times the distance from the Sun to Earth.
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Scientist Claims There's Even More Evidence of Planet Nine's Existence

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  • Inevitable (Score:5, Funny)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @02:22PM (#51777481)

    There will always be nine planets. If you get rid of one of the planets, it is inevitable another will come along to fill the void.

    • That's why we need to invent the Death Star.
    • by xleeko ( 551231 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @02:37PM (#51777601)

      There will always be nine planets. If you get rid of one of the planets, it is inevitable another will come along to fill the void.

      Always nine there are: The Master and the Apprentice, Gilligan, the Skipper, the Millionaire and his wife, the Movie star, the Professor and Mary Anne.

      At least that is how I learned it in school. "My Angry Grandmother Serves Many Waffle Meals Per Month"

      • There's a Pak protector out there with a small sphere of Neutronium, holding a small personal planetoid together with proper gravity. :)

        He told Larry Niven everything while wasted in a bar, and modern SF was born. :)

      • "Mrs. Venus Eats Many Juicy Steaks Using No Plates." I'm a bit confused by the letters used in "My Angry Grandmother..." How do these help you remember the planets?
    • Let's called it "Planet 9 from Outer Space."
      • *call*

        Preview does no good if you're convinced your write the first time.


        (OK that was intentional.)
      • by nelk ( 923574 )

        Let's called it "Planet 9 from Outer Space."

        I say we call it 'Pltuo'. All the mnemonics that people have learned throughout the years to remember the names and order of the planets from the sun can then be reused, all kinds of hilarity could be had for years to come with auto correct sending people to the wrong information.

    • So.. the orbits of several comets were disturbed by something large moving through our solar system at some point in the past. While I grant that a large planet is the most mundane explanation.. this could also be caused by either a rogue planet falling into our sun, or.. dare I say.. a very large alien craft moving though our system at some point in the past.

      • by DanielRavenNest ( 107550 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @08:19PM (#51779679)

        > So.. the orbits of several comets were disturbed by something large moving through our solar system at some point in the past.

        Actually, by repeatedly disturbing the orbits of these Scattered Disk objects, so their orbital parameters are opposite the proposed planet. In that location, the planet doesn't disturb them any more, so they stay put. A single pass of a rogue planet would not change the orbits of *anything* that much, and once that one pass was done with, the Scattered Disk Objects would drift away from their anti-alignment.

        We see other examples of this "gravity shepherding". For example, Pluto and the Plutinos stay in a 3:2 resonance orbit with Neptune, because Neptune's gravity keeps them there.

        • We see other examples of this "gravity shepherding". For example, Pluto and the Plutinos stay in a 3:2 resonance orbit with Neptune, because Neptune's gravity keeps them there.

          Trojan "moons" (or "asteroids" ; pick a category) might be better examples. Much better established, with the math having been accepted for several centuries now.

        • Your explanation makes the whole "9th planet theory" seems increasingly less plausible. If they are postulating a planet because a few cherry picked examples happened to be orbiting the sun on the same side of the solar system then they are fools. Anyone can cherry pick 8 objects which indicate something when taken in isolation of everything else in the solar system.

      • A large planet - similar to other planets seen in the Solar System and other planetary systems - odds are in the 50-50 range.

        A "rogue planet" (as in, one not gravitationally bound to any star) in that part of the Sun's environment, in a relatively short (few thousands of years) period of time is from first principles much less likely. But it wouldn't produce this pattern of orbits (with the appropriate KBOs at different parts of their orbit then and now) anyway.

        A putative spacecraft would literally have t

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No matter how many more such bodies are found, the story won't be complete until and unless Planet Nine is actually observed and its orbital parameters calculated (I assume that precovery images will be located after the first observations).

    • With gravity wave detection happening now it may be possible to find something like this in a few decades with a really long baseline on the gravity detector/s. There's already suggestions to network three at points very widely separated around the world (effectively providing a baseline the size of Earth plus an indication of a direction) and offworld detectors on the moon or far beyond may lead to being able to detect something like a Pluto sized planet from it's gravity.
  • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak&speakeasy,net> on Friday March 25, 2016 @02:31PM (#51777549) Homepage
    . . . . it's Planet Ten, and the Red Lectroids that worry me. . . And no sign of Buckaroo Banzai OR the Hong Kong Cavaliers. . . .
  • plan 9 from outer space!

    • by tmjva ( 226065 )

      That movie was first thing I thought of when I saw the title of this article. Good job!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... the last time they searched for the 9th planet [history.com] the economy tanked!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ain't no such thing.

    • by macraig ( 621737 )

      Why has this gone unnoticed or at least unchallenged by all but a single anonymous coward? There is no "Caltech University", although there is a suspiciously similar California Institute of Technology, which every so often is referenced by the abbreviation CalTech....

  • it could be called Planet X.

  • by ihtoit ( 3393327 ) on Friday March 25, 2016 @03:04PM (#51777801)

    I vote for Planety McPlanet.

  • It's more evidence for a weird phenomenon where a bunch of bodies behave in a very non-random, coincidental way. But we already knew about that admittedly interesting thing. In another words: It's like postulating that red lights cause traffic accidents and then, later, pointing that additional evidence for that hypothesis is that more red lights were observed around town.
    • It's more evidence for a weird phenomenon where a bunch of bodies behave in a very non-random, coincidental way.

      If a bunch of bodies in space move in a very non-random, coincidental way, there must be a mass pulling on them. There's no other remotely credible explanation.

      • What that mass is doesn't necessarily mean a large Neptune sized body. It could have just as easily been the effect of numerous small ort cloud objects or even the interplay between the all or collisions between them.

        He's got a solution in look for evidence, personally I prefer evidence that's explained by a solution. All too often people that have answers and are looking for data to back up their answer are wrong.

  • MikeBrown'sNotPlanet
    • It should at least start with P so that we can bring back "My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets."

  • I have been laughing my ass off at the thought of these morons whop are such big fans of that TOTAKL CRACKPOT and bullshitter ,Zacharia Sitchin.
    And that other bullshitting crackpot Erik Von Danniken and his wee fanyboy asshole, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos - the idiot you see on Ancient Aliens (and I mean that he was/is the chief of Dannikens fan club and is now somehow an expert???).. BUT the hilarious thing is this.....
    Michael Heiser , an actual Mesopotamian language scholar says to debunk Sitchin and co [youtube.com]
    an
  • Because of the planet's eccentric orbit and long period, it is unlikely that it clears its orbit. That is right a planet the size of Neptune, and its a dwarf planet.

    This is what happens when you write naming conventions in order to "get" a planet for political reasons!

    • in order to "get" a planet for political reasons!

      Out of curiosity - what were these "political reasons"? Was Pluto threatening to run as a third party candidate or something?

      • It was planning to trade oil in Euros.

        • Ha ha. Very funny. I'm not that dumb. Pluto has been politically marginalized - not "liberated" by the military.

          My fellow Americans, it is with sadness and righteous anger that I make this address to you tonight, for new intelligence indicates that Pluto is not a democracy. This great crime against humanity and the American people must not go unavenged!

          Furthermore, Pluto has maintained a cold, indifferent silence in the face of all demands to publicly denounce Al Quaeda and the Islamic State. No response has been received to our request to join our Coalition of the Willing.

          Taking into consideration its massive stocks of carbon monoxide - a potential chemical warfare agent - it becomes clear that Pluto represents an imminent, existential threat to the security of the American People and the American Way of Life, justifying a pre-emptive military intervention. (But I will direct any legal challenges to this doctrine to the United Nations Security Council, whose formal resolutions we respect.)

          Therefore, effective immediately, I am launching Operation Democracy Export So That Rights are Observed, Yeah. The first wave of autonomous B83 military advisors [wikipedia.org] are en route as we speak.

    • This is what happens when you write naming conventions in order to "get" a planet for political reasons!

      If you, for whatever reasons you have, think that is what happened, then nothing short of full-blown ECT is going to argue you out of it.

      If you're actually interested in what happened, then here's some information for you. The discovery of Eris (by Mike Brown a.k.a @PlutoKiller and team) which was probably bigger than Pluto and clearly had not in any sense "cleared it's orbit," then it became obvious tha

  • More evidence is pointing toward a mysterious Neptune-sized planet lurking at the outer edges of our Solar System.

    If no one has directly observed this planet how can we know it's lurking? Perhaps it's sauntering. Maybe walking assertively? Skipping? Where is the evidence for lurking?

  • I think with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, this may be the instrument that could find that supposed large object--based on its infrared signature--orbiting a long distance from the Sun, possibly taking around 10,000 years to orbit our Solar System.

    But is it a gas giant planet as now proposed? Is it possible the object may actually be a faint brown dwarf star, one that is much smaller than our gas giant planets but with a diameter a couple times that of Earth itself? If it's a brown d

    • I think with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, this may be the instrument that could find that supposed large object--based on its infrared signature--orbiting a long distance from the Sun

      I think there has already been some work on that and the expected dimensions (therefore surface area) and temperature (assume it formed similarly to Uranus and Neptune, but received less solar irradiation ; deduce a plausible range of temperatures) put it outside the likely sensitive range for current I

      • The infrared sensor on JWST may not be able to find a gas giant planet that far out from the Sun. But it may find my proposed small brown dwarf (which may have a fairly significant heat signature) orbiting around the Sun in a very elliptical orbit that at its closest pass is still well beyond the orbit of Pluto--probably beyond the orbit of Sedna, too.

        My suggestion makes more sense given that binary star systems are a lot more common than people think.

        • But it may find my proposed small brown dwarf (which may have a fairly significant heat signature) orbiting around the Sun in a very elliptical orbit that at its closest pass is still well beyond the orbit of Pluto--probably beyond the orbit of Sedna, too.

          That, a brown dwarf, would be a minimum of about 80 Jupiter masses by current (reasonably accurate) astrophysics. We do things like blow up bombs which probe the physics of this behaviour - we're reasonably sure that those masses are reasonably accurate.

  • Yeah, sure! Because these astrophysicists have been always right, right? No, most of their theories are blown. Including the formation of the solar system and all it's objects. So you read: ***concluded*** ***most likely*** ***after studying the behaviors of six objects***. This is pseudoscience crawling it's way to de facto science. And keep the money flowing please... we need a new kitchen, and wife wants to visit Paris. People are so brain limited, they might as well send the money.

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