Incredible Discovery Of Planet 10…And 11?

On 19 October 2009, the team who built the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope, reported on the incredible discovery of some 32 new exoplanets, cementing HARPS’s position as the world’s foremost exoplanet hunter. One of these is surrounding the star Gliese 667 C, which belongs to a triple system. The 6 Earth-mass exoplanet circulates around its low-mass host star at a distance equal to only 1/20th of the Earth-Sun distance. The host star is a companion to two other low-mass stars, which are seen here in the distance.

By now, most people have heard of the hypothetical Planet 9, but before scientists have even made the advancements to prove its existence, astronomers have found what they believe to be Planet ten and eleven.

New calculations based on the data that originally gave rise to the Planet Nine hypothesis, seems to point out that there could be multiple planets hiding at the edge of our Solar System that we have yet to discover.

The original study from Caltech researchers, published last January, based their hypothesis for the existence of Planet Nine on the unusual movement of six large objects floating in the Kuiper belt, suggesting that their orbits are being shaped by a hidden planet.

Now a new team of astronomers suggests that these Kuiper belt objects might not be as stable as had been previously thought.

New team member, Carlos de la Fuente Marcos explains that the gravitational effect that Planet Nine itself would have on these icy, rocky dwarf planets could help make them too unstable to be moving the way the Caltech scientists think they are.


“These objects would escape from the Solar System in less than 1.5 billion years,” said de la Fuente Marcos, “[and three of them] could abandon it in less than 300 million years. What is more important, their orbits would become really unstable in just 10 million years, a really short amount of time in astronomical terms.”

Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, stated NASA’s position by stating the following;

“The possibility of a new planet is certainly an exciting one for me as a planetary scientist and for all of us. This is not, however, the detection or discovery of a new planet. It’s too early to say with certainty there’s a so-called Planet X. What we’re seeing is an early prediction based on modelling from limited observations. It’s the start of a process that could lead to an exciting result.”

The new findings are published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

Source: ScienceAlert


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