Asteroid’s orbits give more evidence about the elusive Planet 9

The evidence of the unseen planet beyond Pluto found by the astronomers Mike Brown and Konstatin Batygin and since then the search for the Planet 9 is going.

Astronomers using the Gran Telescope CANARIES in the Canary islands found two asteroids, whose orbits are affected by a very large super-Earth sized object.

The scientists believe that the asteroids 2004 VN112 and 2013 RF98  were once a binary asteroid that was separated by an impact with a body the size of 10-20 Earths.

“The similar spectral gradients observed for the pair 2004 VN112 – 2013 RF98 suggests a common physical origin.”- said Julia de León, astrophysicists and author of the paper. “We are proposing the possibility that they were previously a binary asteroid which became unbound during an encounter with a more massive object.”

To test out this hypothesis, they did many simulations of the orbit of the asteroids and found that they were possibly separated by the Planet 9 around 5 to 10 million years ago.

Julia de León said that this could explain the gradual separation of the asteroids following the encounter with a much more massive object.

Planet 9

The first evidence of a such unseen planet began when the astronomers Chad Trujillo and Scott Shepard found that some Kuiper Belt object’s orbits were altered by a large object.

Then Brown and Batygin continued the research and meticulously watched the orbit of six objects that followed the same elliptical orbit and pointed to the same region in space.

These objects were inclined at 30 degree against anything in the Solar System. Brown said that the chance of this occurring is one in a hundred.

The scientists calculations found out that their orbits were probably influenced by a massive object beyond Pluto. Its size is probably around the same as Neptune.

It is still not found, but many telescopes are continually looking for it and soon many citizens may help the astronomers in the search.

The latest research from the team of Julie de Leon could give us light on where to look for this elusive planet 9.

Source: universetoday.com