Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Apart from the list of planets that have been detected, scientists believe there are still many hidden planets out there. The shape there is similar to Earth.
Space researchers zealously spend their time searching for the ninth planet. The problem is, the current technology is not sophisticated enough to find planets that are very far away.
Sara Webb, space expert, explains the reasons that make astronomers believe there is Planet 9 even though until now no one has been able to “see” it.
“The reason is that everything we know about the Solar System doesn’t make sense if Planet 9 doesn’t exist,” Webb said, quoted from The Conversation, Thursday (7/9/2023).
The gravitational field in the Solar System is the main evidence for the existence of Planet 9.
“When we observe distant objects, such as the dwarf planets which are farther than Pluto, their orbits don’t make sense. They move in elliptical (oval-shaped) orbits that are very broad, clustered, and more upright than any other object in the Solar System.” explained Webb.
All these signs indicate there are other gravitational forces at play. This is also the basis for astronomers estimating that the size of the 9th planet is about 10 times larger than Earth.
Planet 9 is very far away. One estimate is that the distance from the Sun is 20 times that of Neptune and the center of the solar system.
Its remote position makes Planet 9 take a long time to circle the Sun, which is 10 thousand to 20 thousand Earth years.
The surface of the Pluto replacement planet is estimated to be very dark. The reason is because sunlight is difficult to get there.
With such a long distance, observations from Earth could only see its position 1,000 years ago.
Even with many challenges, Webb believes he can overcome them with the development of telescope technology.
Webb said a new telescope will be built in the next decade that can be used to track the position of Planet 9. Currently, this ambition is very difficult to achieve for many reasons.
“We only have a very short time during the night, and the conditions must be just right. Specifically, we must wait for the time on a night with a moonless sky, and the location of the lookout must also face the correct point in the sky,” he said.
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