Planet Nine: Hubble Space Telescope finds clues to a mysterious planet

The 11-Jupiter mass exoplanet, called HD 106906 b, shown in this artist’s illustration occupies an unlikely orbit around a double star 336 light-years away. NASA, ESA, and M. Corn Messer (ESA / Hubble)

Some scientists have long believed that there might be a ninth planet orbiting the Sun from the edge of the solar system, the “Planet Nine” (and it’s not Pluto). New observations of extrasolar planets in remote star systems provide clues that may help test that hypothesis.

According to a study published in Astronomical Journal On Thursday, the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a giant exoplanet, or a planet outside the solar system. It orbits a double star system 336 light-years away from us, which can be very similar to Planet Nine.

A mysterious planet named HD106906b is 11 times more mass than Jupiter and orbits two host stars from a distance of 67 billion miles, or 730 times the distance from Earth to the Sun. From that distance, it takes 15,000 Earth years for an exoplanet to complete one orbit around a pair of stars.

Scientists have known the existence of the HD106906b since it was discovered by the Magellan Clay Telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile in 2013. However, the Hubble Space Telescope provided accurate measurements of planetary movements over 14 years, and it was only through the latest observations that researchers were able to determine their orbits.

According to scientists, the double star system is only 15 million years old and is surrounded by a dusty disk of debris left by the formation of a central star and orbiting planets. Astronomers have been studying this system for 15 years because they believe that planets may have formed on this disk.

The solar system has a similar dusty disk known as the Kuiper belt beyond Pluto. Astronomers have observed strange orbits of some celestial bodies and dwarf planets from this area. And some believe that some of the clusters and their anomalous movements are about 10 times larger than Earth and are caused by nearby hidden planets that move along the eccentricity.

“So far, no planet nine has been detected, but planetary orbits can be inferred based on their effects on various objects outside the solar system,” said the study’s co-author, European Astronomy. Said Robert De Rosa. Explained in a statement at the Southern Astronomical Observatory of Chile. “This prediction of Planet Nine’s orbit is similar to that seen on the HD106906b.”

Researchers say the HD106906b was probably born near its host star and was driven away by the gravity of a double star. But if another star passed by, it would have held an exoplanet in the system instead of wandering.

A similar process may have happened to Planet Nine. Planet Nine was formed near other planets early in the solar system and was knocked out by Jupiter’s enormous gravity. And the attractive force of the passing stars pushed it back into the orbit of the solar system.

“We are slowly accumulating the evidence needed to understand the diversity of exoplanets and how it relates to the mysterious aspects of our own solar system,” he said. Another research co-author Paul Kalas, an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said. Said in a statement.

Hubble Space Telescope discovers clues to

Planet Nine: Hubble Space Telescope finds clues to a mysterious planet

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