Cosmic Object with Strange Orbit Found Beyond Neptune

JAKARTA, – A six -year search out of orbit Neptune has netted 461 newly discovered objects. Those objects include four that are more than 230 astronomical units (AU) away from the Sun.

This very distant object likely explains Planet Nine, a theoretical object that has never been observed lurking in space, whose gravity affects the orbits of some rocky objects at the edge of the Solar System.

The new observations come from the Dark Energy Survey, an effort to map the structure of the universe’s galaxies and dark matter that began in 2013. Six years of observations from the Blanco Telescope at Cerro Tololo in Chile yielded a total of 817 new confirmed objects, 461 of which are now being described for the first time. in a paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint server.

The objects in the study are all at least 30 AU away, in a region of the solar system that is almost unimaginably dark and lonely. More than 3,000 trans-Neptunian objects or TNOs have been identified in this ice range.

They include dwarf planets such as Pluto and Eris as well as small Kuiper Belt objects such as Arrokoth, a rocky object visited by the New Horizons spacecraft in 2019. The Kuiper Belt is a region of icy objects orbiting between about 30 AU and 50 AU from the Sun.

Of the 461 objects described for the first time in the new paper, a few stand out. Nine are known as extreme trans-Neptunian objects, which have orbits that swing outward at least 150 AU from the Sun, as quoted from Live Science.

Four of them are very extreme, with an orbital distance of 230 AU. At this distance, the object is barely affected by Neptune’s gravity, but its odd orbit suggests influences from outside the solar system. Some researchers think that the influence may be an undiscovered planet, dubbed Planet Nine. As such, the newly discovered object could help researchers hone in on the possibility of Planet Nine — or deny its existence.

Editor: Dini Listiyani



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