There are eight planets known to us in the solar system, but evidence has recently emerged that suggests the existence of another planet.
The hypothetical ninth planet must be hidden on the outer edge of the solar system. It has not been discovered so far, but new research indicates where it may be hiding.
Evidence of the ninth planet is its gravitational influence on other bodies. If this planet exists, its gravity must also act on the orbits of other planets.
Consequently, if something is pulling on the planet, mathematics must be used to find this source of attraction. This is how Neptune was discovered when English astronomer John Coach Adams and French astronomer Urban Leverier noticed independently that Uranus seemed to be pulling on some invisible planet.
In the case of the ninth planet, we have no gravitational effect on the planet. We see only strangely grouped small icy bodies, e.g. წ. Kuiper belt objects in the outer part of the solar system.
If there were no planets beyond the Kuiper Belt, the orbits of those objects there would be randomly directed into the orbital plane of the solar system. But this is not the case and we see that the orbits of the Kuiper belt objects are grouped in the same direction. It is possible that the reason for this may be completely coincidental, but it is unlikely.
In 2016, in a study of the statistical redistribution of Kuiper belt objects, scientists concluded that the reason for such groupings must be an as yet undiscovered outer planet. According to their calculations, this planet should have five times the mass of Earth and be ten times farther from the Sun than Neptune.
This study also calculated the vast region where this planet might have been. However, the search was in vain, leading some scientists to think that this planet does not exist at all. Orbital strangeness does not prove the existence of a planet.
Others have gone even further and started claiming that the ninth planet exists, but we do not see it because it is actually a primitive black hole.
Because of the criticism it originally received, the new study revised the original study.
One of the big criticisms is that objects outside the solar system are hard to find and we look for them where it is convenient. The grouping effect we see may be due to biased data. The researchers also observed observable bias, but the grouping was still statistically unusual. The chance of a simple coincidence is only 0.4 percent.
When they recalculated the probable orbit of the ninth planet, they were better able to determine the zone in which it should be sought.
One of the interesting aspects of the study is that the newly calculated orbit places the ninth planet closer to the sun than we initially thought. It’s weird because if he’s really closer, we should have found him by now.
According to the authors, such far-sighted observations further narrowed the zones of possible location of the ninth planet. If it really exists, the Vera Rubin Observatory, which will be operational in 2022 or 2023, should be able to fix it in the near future.
This study is not conclusive, and many astronomers still insist that the ninth planet does not exist at all.
It seems that everything will finally be clear in the near future.