Has confirmed the NASA Planet X.
New reference to Planet X
The evidence of a large planet beyond Neptune's orbit is increasing: Astronomers have discovered another trans-Neptunian object whose unusual orbit points to the influence of gravity on the hypothetical planet X. The new celestial body with the designation 2015 TG387 is currently eighty times as far from the sun as the earth and only about 300 kilometers in size, according to the researchers in their study submitted to the “Astronomical Journal”.
"Objects of the inner Oort cloud like 2015 TG387 move their orbit isolated from the known masses in the solar system," explains Scott Sheppard from the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington. “That is exactly what makes them interesting for us. They are test objects with which we can investigate what is happening at the edge of the solar system. ”And strange things happen there: Sheppard and his colleagues have already tracked six trans-Neptunian objects that move on strikingly similar orbits through the solar system: the orbital inclinations are almost the same and the lines connecting the points closest to and furthest from the Sun on their strongly elliptical orbits point almost in one and the same direction.
The gravity of a large planet far out in the solar system could explain these observations. Astronomers speak of the shepherd effect, by which smaller objects are driven together on similar orbits. The scientists working with Sheppard therefore see the discovery of another object with such an orbit as confirmation of the hypothesis of a planet X. "And the more of these objects we track down, the better we can understand the outer solar system and the assumed other planets," says Sheppard.
Sheppard's team has been searching intensively for more trans-Neptunian objects in suspicious orbits for years. In 2015, the researchers discovered TG387 in 2015 with the Subaru telescope in Hawaii. Since the celestial body moves very slowly from the earth, years of observation with a variety of instruments were necessary to determine its orbit precisely. Now the team knows that in 2015 TG387 will approach our central star up to 65 times the Earth-Sun distance and move away from it by up to 2300 times the Earth-Sun distance.
A complete orbit around the sun for 2015 TG387 takes about 40,000 years. “And 99 percent of that time, he's too far away from us to be tracked down,” reports team member David Tholen from the University of Hawaii. That is why only a small part of the celestial bodies can be found on such extraordinary orbits.
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