(Mirror Daily, United States) – A team of French astronomers declared that Planet Nine’s location can be pinpointed if the Cassini extends its mission until 2020.
Planet Nine’s location can be pin-pointed, at least, that’s what a team of four French astronomers declared this Tuesday. They are certain that they could use the Cassini to determine the exact location of the mysterious planet.
At the end of this year, a team of astronomy researchers published a paper in which they declared that they have found the ninth planet of our solar system. And they didn’t re-discover Pluto.
The planet in question was never spotted by the researchers, but they approximated its presence and location from the way in which ice debris was moving in the Kuiper belt.
The general public was so excited about the discovery, that NASA had to release a video stating that the planet’s existence is till theoretical and they need further scientific proof, including a telescope image of the planet in order to declare it the official ninth planet of our solar system.
The French team that declared that Planet Nine’s location can be pinpointed is currently studying the data that the Cassini spacecraft sent back. NASA’s craft is currently orbiting Saturn.
Jaques Laskar, the co-author of the paper published in the Astrophysics and Astronomy journal declared that thy already removed two probable zones from the equation. They managed to do that by confronting the data provided by the computer analysis of the probable location with the information sent by NASA’s Cassini.
All they did was compare the two pieces of information. The data that did not conclude with the real images sent back by the aircraft was taken out of the calculation. Thus, the team of French scientists managed to reduce the searching are with approximately 50 percent.
Since Planet Nine is thought to revolve around the Sun at a very great distance, its gravitational effect on the other planets is virtually inexistent. That is why the astronomers must focus their attention on other details, like the elongated loop that it’s believed to form around the Sun or the strange movement that the ice objects display in the Kuiper belt.
Laskar’s team managed to reduce the searching area with almost 50 percent. But there is still a lot more ground to cover and mathematical predictions have almost always failed astronomers when it came to pinpointing the location of a new planet. The only time the method worked was when they discovered Neptune.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
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