reply to post by FriedBabelBroccoli
Ah, you are a bit out of date with that information from 29 years ago. While it was a good article, you should have followed up your post of it with
correct information (BTW - if you read the full article, that distance of 50 trillion miles was incorrect, at they meant 50 billion miles).
Turns out that they were incorrect about this body:
The observatory made headlines briefly with the announcement on December 10, 1983 of the discovery of an "unknown object" at first described as
"possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this solar system." However, further
analysis revealed that, of several unidentified objects, nine were distant galaxies and the tenth was "intergalactic cirrus". None were found to
be Solar System bodies.
Since the IRAS, there have been several IR observational satellites placed in orbit. None so far have found a Planet X out there yet (all though WISE
data is still being looked through). Here's each of them in order after IRAS:
Spitzer Space Telescope
Keep in mind, even if there was something the size of Jupiter out there, at that far out, it would be like finding a needle in a hay stack. Many
people in these threads have postulated that if it does exist, it may have been a rogue planet captured by the sun's gravity. If that's the case,
it's quite possible that it's orbit is highly inclined.
So searches for it would not be just on the solar system's orbital plane, but more of a spherical ball that has to be searched. That is a LOT of sky
that it could be in. At those distances, it would be way too faint to be illuminated greatly by the sun (by the time you get to Pluto, the sun looks
like a bright star, not the huge disk we see in the sky), and the orbital periods are so long, that each section of sky would have to be photographed
once, then again way down the road and compared.
That's how Pluto was found eventually. The search for 9th planet had started back in 1840, and was not found until 1930 (and it turned out to not be
what they were looking for, hehehe). So that was 90 years of searching!
I like the idea of a dark companion to the sun or a new planet. But I doubt seriously that it's Niburu (as I don't believe in the existance of
planets that defy the laws of physics an perform not only breaking manuvers, but some how exceed the speed of light, and can cloak themselves.... even
Star Trek never went that far!