Elusive world: astronomers found 17 contenders for the title of the ninth planet

Astronomers have found 17 contenders for the title of the ninth planet

The idea of the presence of the ninth planet in the Solar System does not leave the astronomers. To find the elusive world, they decided to use a new search technique. As a result, 17 space objects were discovered for the role of a contender for the ninth planet. To find the elusive planet, the scientists decided to look at images of telescopes in a different light. They tested the so-called shift and fold technique.

It can assist in the search for the alleged unknown world. According to some researchers, the ninth planet of the Solar System may remain undiscovered, being located in the distant outer system, outside the orbit of the Pluto.

The strategy for its search is aimed at using the displacement of the telescope images along multiple orbital trajectories. The resulting images are then stacked together to combine their light. The researchers note that the technique had already been used in the past. It helped to discover some satellites of the distant planets in the Solar System. And the same technique may well cope with the search for the mysterious ninth planet that is conventionally called Planet X, Giant Planet Number Five.

Malena Rice, a doctor of astronomy at the Yale University, believes that without using this method, the ninth planet is unlikely to be discovered. The astronomers agree with the fact that, if present in outer space, it can be incredibly dim. The researchers hypothesized that the resulting images could be shifted and folded.

All of them were obtained using the NASATransiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS. The mission of that satellite is to search for alien worlds from the near-earth orbit. While testing the proposed method, the astronomers found weak signals from three space objects known to the scientists.

They are small in size, and they all revolve around the Sun beyond the orbit of the Neptune. Then the scientists conducted a blind search of two areas of space and were able to find a total of 17 objects there, each of them has the right to claim the title of the ninth planet.

The new study has been accepted by The Planetary Science Journal. Rice presented the results today (Oct. 27) at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, which is being held virtually this year.