16 April 2016

The Hunt for Planet 9 Goes on . . .

Could it be? No, its just bunk! 
But, wait, hasn't Devash caught pictures of "IT"?
More in the News: (tongue in cheek)

All From Space.com:

Any mention of the possibility of a hypothetical world orbiting in the outer solar system and the tabloid press assumes the worst: the world is going to explode. Even worse, when a scientists hinted that one such hypothetical planet could trigger mass extinctions via a cometary bombardment, the headlines jumped to the conclusion that, oddly, we were all going to die this month.

"An undiscovered planet outside the orbit of Neptune, 10 times the mass of Earth, would affect the orbit of Saturn, not Cassini," added William Folkner, a planetary scientist at JPL.

"This could produce a signature in the measurements of Cassini while in orbit about Saturn if the planet was close enough to the sun. But we do not see any unexplained signature above the level of the measurement noise in Cassini data taken from 2004 to 2016."

ANALYSIS: The Hunt for Planet Nine: What's It Made Of?

It's certainly an interesting thought, but at least in this case it appears there is little evidence of gravitational tugs on the orbit of Cassini.

Still, the hunt for Planet 9 goes on.

As revealed by Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin in January, there seems to be something out there that is tugging at the orbits of distant objects in the Kuiper belt — the region of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune (a region within which Pluto lives).

Currently, it is thought this as-yet to be directly seen planet is around 10 times the mass of the Earth and at least 200 AU (200 times the sun-Earth distance) from the sun. If and when discovered, this significantly sized "mini-Uranus" will be the furthest-known object in the solar system.

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