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A surprise monster may be lurking in our solar system. A newly discovered dwarf planet has grabbed the crown as the most distant known object in our solar system – and its orbit hints at a giant, unseen rocky world, 10 times the mass of Earth and orbiting far beyond Pluto.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) scoured this region of space in 2010 and 2011 searching for a so-called Planet X and came up empty.
However, WISE was looking for the tell-tale warmth of gas giants – a rocky "super-Earth", like the one Sheppard's team suggest, would be too cold for the telescope to pick up. "This is too faint for WISE," says Ned Wright, the space telescope's principal investigator. Even if the planet has a small internal heat source – and absorbs some sunlight, it would still not generate enough heat to register, he adds
How long would it take for this "new monster" to orbit the sun?
The recent discovery of another dwarf planet on a elliptical orbit strongly hints at a massive planet in the outer reaches of the solar system. This planet is estimated to be 10 earth masses at a distance of 250au.
"We numerically simulated the effect of a super-Earth-mass body at 250 au and found that w for inner Oort cloud objects librated around 0 +/- 60 degrees for billions of years (see Extended Data Figs 2 and 3). This configuration is not unique and there are many possibilities for such an unseen perturber.
We note that the planet configurations we tested are not unique and there are likely to be many possible orbital patterns for an unseen perturber that could produce a w constraint among the most distant bodies in the Solar System."
reply to post by Shepard64
There are probably some great topics on it here. But, Planet X, or Nibiru, is a legend, originating in one of the oldest cultures on earth. They saw their gods and visitors, coming from this mythical planet that crosses near the earth orbit every 28,000 years or something. Each time, it brings death and destruction. The great flood has been theorized as a result of this planet.
reply to post by ngchunter
Thanks for clarifying that, ngchunter. I notice the article you quote seems to acknowledge the existence of a 'perturber', though not necessarily one with the mass and orbital characteristics modelled.
So... there is something out there after all?
By the way, that diagram of the suggested planet's orbit in the first post appears to be incorrect (if it is based on the data supplied in the article). If that dotted circle is meant to be 250AUs, then the aphelion distance of 2012 VP113 should be a considerable distance beyond that (over 400AUs). In fact, the representation of Sedna's orbit looks more like that of the real 2012 VP113.edit on 27-3-2014 by Mogget because: (no reason given)edit on 27-3-2014 by Mogget because: (no reason given)