Collective gravity, not Planet Nine, may explain the orbits of ‘detached objects’

07 June, 2018, 03:29 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • 'Planet 9' might really be a gang of asteroids shooting comets at us

On June 4 during a news conference, Ann-Marie Madigan said: "The picture that we are having in our mind is somewhat like a lot many little moons are present in the solar system, and they are floating around the solar system and also interacting with the comets". A hypothetical object revolves around the Sun in an elongated path (in inclined relative to Earth's orbit plane) with a period of 15 thousand years, and physico-chemical properties reminiscent of Neptune. "We can solve a lot of these problems by just taking into account that question".

Dwarf planet Sedna and other, smaller TNOs have orbits very different and detached from those of most solar system bodies. The orbits of smaller objects, such as asteroids, however, move faster than the larger ones, such as Sedna. The dwarf planets and other icy bodies out there move in mysterious ways that suggest an unseen world is pulling on them, but new calculations suggest that there is no Planet Nine - these distant objects might just be jostling each other like bumper cars.

But a new study offers a different explanation for the odd orbits of these "detached objects" in the far reaches of the solar system. During a collision with Sidney they push the object in a distant region of the Solar system.

According to CU Boulder, the team looked at one of these objects in particular - a dwarf planet called Sedna, which orbits the sun at a distance of almost eight billion miles and is distant enough so as not to be affected by Neptune's gravity, the Inquisitr previously reported - and tried to understand why its orbit looks the way it does.

It was the dynamics of detached objects like Sedna that astrophysicist Jacob Fleisig was studying when he noticed, according to his computer simulations, that occasionally they came into alignment, like the hands of a clock. Caltech's Konstantin Batygin, for one, does not think the Kuiper Belt objects have enough mass to pull minor planets and asteroid out of their orbit. Their findings the researchers presented at the 232nd meeting of the American astronomical society.

Fleisig ran a computer model for the orbits of these unusual distant objects and uncovered that they move a lot like hands on a clock.

He said: "You see a pileup of the obits of small objects to one side of the sun". "These orbits crash into the bigger body, and what happens is those interactions will change its orbit from an oval shape to a more circular shape". And the fact that the orbits all tilt the same way - neatly explained by Planet Nine - can not be explained by the collective gravity hypothesis. But because the largest objects are hurled into the most eccentric orbits, they become more hard to find, the researchers said.

Remarkably, these relatively insignificant objects may also be culpable in the extinction of the dinosaurs. According to the researchers, the interaction between space debris and bigger objects in the outer solar system could have triggered repeated orbital changes, which in turn, could have shot comets toward the inner part of the neighborhood, including Earth.

"The handful we've seen is not enough", Fleisig said.


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