When the debate of Planet Nine is still at its peak, astronomers have come up with something more baffling. Reworking on their calculations, they say that Planets Ten and Eleven may possibly exist right in our solar system. What does that mean? This article intends on finding out the answer to this very question.
Caltech or California Institute of Technology astronomers were working with KPO or Kuiper Belt Objects and found that dwarf planets and another 6 large objects in the Kuiper Belt have pretty unusual orbits. This was a good evidence for existence of Planet Nine, which should be existing in a very remote place and should be very large.
While findings of Caltech are pretty interesting, someone by the name Carlos de la Fuente Marcos came up with some very unusual speculation. He, who is an astronomer from Spain, was looking at the 6 large objects which are known as ETNOs or Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects. While observing the movements of these 6 ETNOs, Marcos came up with a speculation that it is not just Planet Nine that is causing such movements. As a matter of fact, Marcos says that the instabilities in their movements is a result of something else too – possibly Planets Ten and Eleven!
Why Marcos Speculates Planets Ten and Eleven?
Marcos submitted his report in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. He wrote the report along with two other astronomers – Raúl de la Fuente Marcos and University of Cambridge’s Sverre J. Aarseth. According to these three astronomers, if there was only Planet Nine, the orbits of the 6 ETNOs would be vastly unstable compared to what they are now. This in turn means that there is/are at least one or two more planets out there that is/are counterbalancing the gravitational tug that Planet Nine is exerting on the 6 ETNOs. This is why Marcos speculates the possibility of Planets Ten and Eleven.
Views Against Planets Ten and Eleven
Carlos de la Fuente Marcos is a freelance astronomer and it is not really easy for other astronomers from reputed institutions like Caltech to accept Marcos’ speculation right away. This is precisely what happened. Mike Brown – the person responsible for stripping Pluto of its planetary status and also one of the persons who led to the development of Planet Nine theory said that it might be just too early to start hypothesizing a second planet. Brown said that he and his Caltech team too analyzed the same data and that the analysis was nearly identical but the results were simply different or rather opposite. Brown says that he is unable to understand precisely why Carlos, Raúl and Sverre ended up with a different result.
NASA’s View on Planets Ten and Eleven
Director of Planetary Science Division of NASA – Jim Green clearly stated that at this point everyone should take things slow about Planets Nine, Ten, Eleven or whatever name they are assigning to these planets, whose existence is only speculations and conjectures. According to Green, whatever is being said is based on results derived from modeling, which in turn are based on observations that are very limited. He says that if there are other planets, it will be amazing and finding out a new planet will be an extraordinary discovery but for the time being, more observations will be required.
Some questions we will like to ask and perhaps you will have the same questions:
- Did Marcos hurry up with his speculations and should he be revisiting the data again and again?
- Should Mike Brown back off? May be he sounded a bit too confident while discarding Marcos’ theory! May be this is confidence is because of his image with Pluto.
What do you think? Are there planets beyond Neptune? Is there a Planet Nine and are there Planets Ten and Eleven? We will like to know about your opinion.