Scientists may have just found crucial evidence in the discovery on the ninth planet in the solar system. They have found a Trans Neptunian object whose orbit may be significantly affected by the existence of a ninth planet.
There has been mounting evidence of the existence of Planet Nine for some time now.
Closer To Finding Planet Nine
In a paper published in the arXiv physics e-Print server, astronomers found a Trans Neptunian object that is possibly affected by the ninth planet. The object, called 2015 BP519, has an orbit around the Sun that is 35 to 862 times the radius of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Unlike the rest of the planets that orbit the Sun on the same plane, 2015 BP519 orbits at a 54° angle to that plane.
The team from the Dark Energy Survey say that 2015 BP519 is the most extreme Trans-Neptunian Object found to date in the paper. It used computer simulations of the solar system to figure out how the object may have come across this strange orbit. Simulations in which the solar system only had eight planets didn't give 2015 BP519 the same orbit that it has now.
Once researchers added properties proposed by researchers from CalTech theorizing about a ninth planet, 2015 BP519's orbit matched almost exactly. Speaking to Quanta co-author of the paper David Gerdes said that this isn't proof that there is a planet nine but that the presence of 2015 BP519 makes it more likely that there is a planet nine.
Astronomers have been predicting the discovery of a ninth planet in the solar system. In October 2017, NASA released a statement predicting that Planet Nine is possibly a Super-Earth sized planet that has 10 times the mass of the Earth. Astrophysicist Konstantin Batygin from CalTech said that there are now five different lines of observational evidence that point to the existence of a ninth planet.
Batygin co-authored a 2016 paper showing that six objects in the Kuiper belt have elliptical orbits that are all being pulled in the same direction. All of the objects are being tilted 30° downward away from the plane on which the rest of the planets orbit.
After that, another paper was published saying that the orbit of Planet Nine may be pulling the planets 6° away from the equator of the Sun. There are also objects in the Kuiper Belt that orbit in the opposite direction as the rest of the objects in the solar system. The existence of this Trans-Neptunian Objects adds to the list of evidence for a Planet Nine.