Monday, 18 June 2012

Astronomer Insists There's A Planet X Four TimesThe Size Of Earth Lurking At The Edge Of Our Solar System

The evidence for 'Planet X' - the mysterious hypothesised planet on the edge of our solar system - has taken a new turn thanks to the mathematics of a noted astronomer. Rodney Gomes, an astronomer at the National Observatory of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, says the irregular orbits of small icy bodies beyond Neptune imply that a planet four times the size of Earth is swirling around our sun in the fringes of the solar system

Planet X - perhaps mis-named now that Pluto has been demoted to a dwarf planet - has been widely hypothesised for decade, but has never been proven.

Gomes measured the orbits of 92 Kuiper belt objects - small bodies and dwarf planets - and said that six objects appeared to be tugged off-course compared to their expected orbits.

The hypothetical planet - four times the size of Earth - will float beyond Neptune and Pluto and cause disturbances in the Kuiper belt of asteroids.

Alternatively an object the size of Mars on an irregular orbit that bought it to within five billion miles of the sun - close to Neptune's orbit - could be the solution. He told astronomers at the American Astronomical Society on Tuesday that the most likely reason for the irregular orbits was a 'planetary-mass solar companion' - a distant body of planet size that is powerful enough to move the Kuiper belt objects. However, due to the distances involved, it will be tough to for Earthbound astronomers to catch a glimpse of the hypothetical newest member of our solar system He suggested the planet would be four times bigger than Earth - around the size of Nepture and would be 140 billion miles from the sun, or about 1,500 times further than the Earth.

Even non-planet Pluto is hard to spot thanks to the distances involved.

The Kuiper belt lies on the outskirts of our solar system, and calculations imply a planet also lurks out there.

The solar system as we know it, showing (l-r), Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune

While other astronomers are on the astronomical fence, they have applauded his methods.

Rory Barnes, from the University of Washington told National Geographic that Gomes 'has laid out a way to determine how such a planet could sculpt parts of our solar system.

'So while, yes, the evidence doesn't exist yet, I thought the bigger point was that he showed us that there are ways to find that evidence.

'I don't think he really has any evidence that suggests it is out there.'

Hal Levison, from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said: 'It seems surprising to me that a [solar] companion as small as Neptune could have the effect he sees.

'[But] I know Rodney, and I'm sure he did the calculations right.'

The previous ninth planet, Pluto, is one of the largest of the Kuiper belt dwarf planets, at some 1,400 miles wide.

It got downgraded by the International Astronomical Union in 2006 for failing to meet all the criteria of a 'planet', namely that its mass is not sufficient enough to clear its orbit of surrounding objects.


  1. While the year goes on, this hypothetical body will remain distant, to reach apogee while still undefined.
    Consider: if this body is antimatter primarily, it would be repulsed by this heavily matter system. Even though shedding neutrinos, it would never enter further than its current position.
    I suspect its breach of the ORT shell is its apogee. And its perigee to us here on Earth may well be the Centauri system.

  2. Well, Kathleen, your analysis is certainly colorful and imaginative, I'll give you that.

  3. Table 2 - The Hypothetical Planet's Orbital Parameters
    Parameter Value Max. Error Min. 2 Sigma Error Forbes'(1880)
    Period (years) 4969.0 +30.4/- 24.3 +/- 11.5 5000
    Orbital Eccentricity 0.537 +0.088/-0.035 +/- 0.0085 not cal.
    Orbital Inclination 48.44o +3.12o/-9.05o +/- 0.23o 45o
    Longitude of the Ascending Node 189.0o +/- 1.3o +/- 1.3o 185o
    Argument Of Perihelion 257.8o +6.11o/-13.47o +/- 0.90o not cal.
    Time of Aphelion (years) 1970 AD +/- 1.0 +/- 1.0 not cal.

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  5. While I am not learned about astronomical matters, I'm incredibly curious about it and since childhood fascinated by the heavens and the orbs seemingly floating in it! Although this is a relatively old article, science is ever expanding and question I want to ask, is whether Mr. Gomez' theory about this Planet X, supports research done on Planet X by Dr Robert Harrington? Also the fact that in 1983 an article or two, appeared in various newspapers about the discovery of a tenth planet and from what I recall, scientists were very excited about it. The article even appeared in Popular Mechanics. Zecharia Sitchen and Velikovsky before him also spoke about the presence of such a planet, which on an elongated orbit, passed through our solar system, tugging at our planets and generally creating havoc, every few thousand years. Of course, to this day stories of Planet X aka Nibiru persist, but are debunked as nonsense. Hope Mr. Gomez is still continuing his research and keeps us up to date on this hugely interesting subject.