To be or not to be: @Plutokiller finds Planet Nine

Roughly 150 million kilometres, one astronomical unit (AU) is the distance from Sun to Earth. Thirty times that, you reach Neptune, which lies at 30 astronomical units from the Sun. Neptune was the furthest planet that we knew of.

Planet Nine is 100 astronomical units from the Sun!

Join us on a journey to find out more about Planet Nine with Professor Kathleen Campbell, University of Auckland and Radio Live.

Ironically, the existence of Planet Nine was postulated by the same person who initiated the demise of Pluto: astronomer Michael Brown.

But nobody has seen it yet – it is a considerable distance from the Sun, too far away to reflect any sunlight and moves around the Sun very slowly, taking between ten to twenty thousand years to orbit our star.

According to Brown, at its closest approach to the Sun, Planet Nine could be seen through many high end backyard telescopes. That is if you knew where to look, which for now is a mystery. However Brown hints at somewhere around the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy and it is very likely that astronomers would enrol ‘citizen scientists’ to help them look through the sky. Citizen Science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists.

Maybe Planet Nine could be a great place to consider going for the times when our Sun will turn red giant?

“Now go find planet nine!” says Brown.

Click here to read the original paper

EVIDENCE FOR A DISTANT GIANT PLANET IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Konstantin Batygin1 and Michael E. Brown1

FREE ARTICLE | Published 2016 January 20 | The American Astronomical Society | The Astronomical Journal, Volume 151, Number 2

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