Image: Caltech / R. Hurt / IPAC
An international team of astronomers found that the outer Solar system objects is actually evenly distributed and do not form clusters, as previously thought. These clusters were seen as proof of the existence of the ninth planet of the Solar system. About a possible refutation of the hypothesis of planet X said astronomer Samantha Lawler (Lawler Samantha) in an interview Conversation.
Researchers working on the project OSSOS (investigates the origin of the Solar system), have found the true reason for the anomalous orbits of the most distant Kuiper Belt objects (TRANS-Neptunian objects, TNO), located at a distance of 10 astronomical units from the Sun (one astronomical unit is approximately equal to the average distance from the sun to the Earth). These orbits have been stretched predominantly in one direction, resulting in a far TNO are in the same region of the Solar system. Only a very massive planet beyond the orbit of Neptune could hold the orbit of the TNO, forming a cluster.
But, according to scientists, the cluster is an illusion because of the difficulties in monitoring it, which most of the time in remote parts of their orbits. These objects are accessible to observation, when close to the Sun. In addition, TNO in each part of the Solar system it is possible to detect only at certain times of the year, because observation is difficult to hold in rainy and cloudy weather. Also less likely to find it close to the plane of the milky Way, where a high density of stars makes it difficult to find faint objects.
Within OSSOS scientists have found other, probably outside the limited area, and their orbits correspond to the uniform distribution. Another group of astronomers, occupied with study of dark energy along the way found the three hundred unclustered objects. Thus, two teams of experts found no evidence of cluster orbits TNO.
According to the simulation results if the monitoring will be conducted with a single telescope during a single season, it is nice to remote orbits will form an apparent cluster. Other simulations showed that the orbits of almost all TNO explained by known physical effects, except for two, which is “emissions”. However, taking into account the effect of gravity, the hypothetical ninth planet such emissions should be more, but should also be more features which are easier to detect, and it does not correspond to the observed picture.
Video, photo All from Russia.