If it exists, it is possible that the mythical Planet X will have company.
Our solar system still has some surprises up its sleeve.
According to a recent research published in the journal Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Earth may have another sister planet lurking somewhere in interstellar space, in the solar system's "third zone."
This indicates that if Planet X exists, it may have a Mars-sized neighbor.
Computer simulations suggest a Mars-sized twin lurking beyond Neptune
The new research looks at data from the solar system's enigmatic third zone and predicts that something the size of Mars could be lying beyond Neptune.
All known planets in our solar system are divided into three kinds according to modern astronomy. Because the Earth is one of the four rocky inner planets orbiting the sun within the primary asteroid belt that separates Mars and Jupiter, you're on one of the first.
The outer solar system, which includes the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, is the second group. These gathered massive amounts of gas and ice around rocky cores, according to scientists.
However, the third sector of our solar system is not often mentioned in casual conversations about nearby planets. Dwarf planets like Pluto, Sedna, and Eris, as well as even smaller bodies like comets, can be found beyond Neptune. But, according to the authors of a recent study, this is all incorrect.
"It seems unlikely that nature created four giant planet cores, but then nothing else larger than dwarf planets in the outer solar system," states Kathryn Volk of the University of Arizona and Brett Gladman of the University of British Columbia, in the study.
To completely comprehend how the solar system formed, scientists use computer simulations to examine if special initial conditions or events may lead to the formation of a solar system similar to ours.
The operative word for these objects, which are all smaller than the Moon, is "known." Wikimedia Commons
Planet X isn't the theoretical rogue world
According to Volk and Gladman, the models that most closely resemble our real solar system begin with at least one extra planet in a perplexing position.
These simulations suggest that, in addition to the massive gas and ice giants we presently have, the outer solar system once had one or more rocky planets the size of Earth or Mars.
However, over time, the interaction of these rocky wanderers with the outsized gravitational fields of the gas giants pushed them into a far-out orbit, or even out of the neighborhood entirely.
"I agree that it is likely that a Mars planet was there initially," said Planetary Scientist David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute, in an Inverse report. "[B]ut the question is whether it has survived and if we have any evidence for it."
"Our simulations found that in about half of the cases" of simulated solar systems like ours, "all of the Mars-scale planets in the outer solar system were ejected into interstellar space," said Astrophysicist Scott Tremaine, of the Institute for Advanced Study, in the Inverse report. "But in the remaining half, one 'rogue' planet was left in an orbit similar to that of the detached population of the Kuiper Belt objects."
If this new rogue planet exists, Planet X, a much larger mass that some scientists believe lies even further in space beyond Neptune, will not exist.
While more modeling may aid in pinpointing the location of the Mars-sized rogue, the only way to know for sure is to find it.
Source: Inverse Report
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Guest blogger AnThony Legins is a life coach and mentor who enjoys writing on topics relating to mindset, money, real estate, finance and motivation. Read more articles and posts by AnThony at: www.themillionairemindset.net and follow on IG @anthony_legins
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