May 05, 2016 06:41 AM EDT
Planet Nine Origin Gets Weirder; Aliens Possibly Drag It Near Solar System? [SPECULATION]
Amid such weird and on point speculations, Planet Nine continues to puzzle the minds of astronomers and researchers as to how it gotten to be part of the solar system and the probability distance that associates it to the Sun remains at low.
A number of scenarios has been researched but found most of them with low probabilities in a study conducted by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).
Earlier this year, scientists came up with evidences for Planet Nine. This planet had a mass like the Neptune planet and revolves in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto's distance. These scenarios made theorists to ask how this planet could end up in such an outlying orbit.
Even though evidences were strong to point that Planet Nine exists, the question on its formation remains an unanswered, CfA Astronomer Gongjie Li wrote in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Since its discovery, Planet Nine has been circling the Sun at a distance of about 40 billion to 140 billion miles or 400 to 1500 astronomical units. This distance put Planet Nine farther away than other planets that do not belong to Sun's solar system.
Planet Nine's mystery had now triggered yet another question: had it formed there or it had been dragged by another passing star to its location now?
Li and her co-author Fred Adams of the University of Michigan conducted millions of computer simulations in order to mull over three potentials. The first involves a passing star that towed Planet Nine outward. Such an interaction would not only push the planet into a wider orbit but also make that orbit more elliptical.
CfA Astronomer Scott Kenyon could have the solution to that complexity. In two papers submitted to the Astrophysical Journal, Kenyon and his co-author Benjamin Bromley of the University of Utah used computer simulations to construct reasonable circumstances for the formation of Planet Nine in a wider orbit, the report said.
Finally, Li and Adams considered two bizarre possibilities that either Planet Nine is an exoplanet that was pulled from a passing star system or a free-floating planet that was captured when it drifted near this solar system. However, the chances of either scenario are less than two percent, they concluded.
Join the Conversation