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Planet 9 Can’t Run Forever – Two Asteroids Give up Some Clues

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 16:27
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(Before It's News)

Last year, Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin found indirect evidence for the existence of a large planet in the outer reaches of our Solar System — likely located out past Pluto — and since then, the search has been on. The latest research continues to show signs of an unseen planet, the hypothetical Planet 9.

Astronomers using the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) in the Canary Islands looked at two distant asteroids called Extreme Trans Neptunian Objects’ (ETNOs), and spectroscopic observations show and their present-day orbits could be the result of a past interaction with a large “superearth”-type object orbiting the Sun at a distance between 300 to 600 AU.

Researchers say the orbits of asteroids 2004 VN112 and 2013 RF98 suggest that the two were once a binary asteroid which separated after an encounter a large body, with a mass of between 10 and 20 Earth masses.

“The similar spectral gradients observed for the pair 2004 VN112 – 2013 RF98 suggests a common physical origin,” said Julia de León, the first author of a new paper, and who is an astrophysicist at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). “We are proposing the possibility that they were previously a binary asteroid which became unbound during an encounter with a more massive object.”

Sequence of images taken with the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) to identify one of the ETNO´s studied in this article, 2013 RF98, where one can see how it moves during four consecutive nights. Below, right, visible spectra obtained with the GTC of the two objects 2004 VN112 and 2013 RF98. The red lines show the gradients of the spectra. Credit: Julia de León (IAC).

To test their hypothesis, the team performed thousands of simulations to see how the poles of the orbits would separate as time went on. The results of these simulations suggest that a possible Planet 9 could have separated the pair of asteroids around 5 and 10 million years ago.

de León said this could explain, in principle, how these two asteroids, starting as a pair orbiting one another, became gradually separated in their orbits after an encounter with a much more massive object at a particular moment in time.

The tale of Planet 9 started in 2014, when astronomers Chad Trujillo and Scott Shepard were studying the motions of large objects in the Kuiper Belt and realized that a large planet in the outer Solar System must be altering orbits of several ETNOs the in Kuiper Belt.

Brown and Batygin were looking to verify or refute the research of Trujillo and Shepard, and they painstakingly analyzed the movement of various KBOs. They found that six different objects all seem to follow a very similar elliptical orbit that points back to the same region in space.

All the bodies were found to be inclined at a plane of about 30-degrees different from almost everything else in the Solar System. Brown said the odds of these orbits all occurring randomly are about 1 in 100.

But calculations revealed the orbits could be influenced by a massive planet way out beyond the orbit of Pluto, about 200 times further than the distance from the Sun to the Earth. This planet would be Neptune-sized, roughly 10 times more massive than Earth.

It hasn’t been found yet, but the hunt is on by large telescopes around the world, and a new citizen science project allows people around the world to join in the search.

The latest findings of by de León and team could help point the way to where Planet 9 might be lurking.

Source: PhysOrg

The post Planet 9 Can’t Run Forever. Two Asteroids Give Up Some Clues appeared first on Universe Today.



Source: http://www.universetoday.com/133555/planet-9-cant-run-forever-two-asteroids-give-clues/

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  • Anonymous

    In 2002, we deduced a theoretical orbital period (4969.0 years) for a body we dubbed Vulcan. It has an orbital inclination of 48.44 degrees which compares favorably with the orbital inclination of Planet Nine as reported by U of Az astronomers, 18 or 48 degrees. Vulcan’s orbital eccentricity is 0.537.

    http://www.barry.warmkessel.com/vulcanrevealed.html#5
    VULCAN’S ORBITAL PARAMETERS FROM BLAVATSKY’S THEOSOPHY

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2016/03080928-planet-nine-update.html
    “Planet Nine” update: Possible resonances beyond the Kuiper belt?
    “The orbital plane can be one of two: either inclined at 18 degrees or 48 degrees. In the low-inclination case, the orbit eccentricity would be less than 0.18; in the high-inclination case, it could be much larger. ”

    2000 CR105 has been found to be in a 3:2 resonance with distant body we call Vulcan. The estimated mass of Vulcan is 141+/- 35 earth masses which increases the average three revolutions periods of CR105 by 3 years. Thus the measured period for Vulcan/Nine using paleoclimatological data, Forbes 1880 estimate and 2000 CR105 data is 4969.3 years.

    http://www.barry.warmkessel.com/combinedperiods.html
    FOUR INDEPENDENT MEASUREMENTS OF VULCAN’S PERIOD

  • Anonymous

    Biden and Eris appear to be dwarf planets that were once associated with Vulcan, an ultra tiny brown dwarf star.

    http://www.barry.warmkessel.com/Dwarfs.html#d
    A NEW GIANT PLANET IN OUR SOLAR SYSTEM?

    VP113 (Biden) appears to have been captured at a distance of 9.49 AU from Vulcan.
    Eris was captured at 37.15 AU distant.

    There may be a dwarf planet that was originally mid way between these two values assuming a bode law like spacing occurred.

    Astronomer Forbes found three of this object’s orbital parameters in 1880.

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