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Researchers Find Evidence Of Distant Outer Planet
Mongo
post Jan 20 2016, 04:58 PM
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Free to view paper:

Evidence for a Distant Giant Planet in the Solar System

Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown

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Abstract

Recent analyses have shown that distant orbits within the scattered disk population of the Kuiper Belt exhibit an unexpected clustering in their respective arguments of perihelion. While several hypotheses have been put forward to explain this alignment, to date, a theoretical model that can successfully account for the observations remains elusive. In this work we show that the orbits of distant Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) cluster not only in argument of perihelion, but also in physical space. We demonstrate that the perihelion positions and orbital planes of the objects are tightly confined and that such a clustering has only a probability of 0.007% to be due to chance, thus requiring a dynamical origin. We find that the observed orbital alignment can be maintained by a distant eccentric planet with mass gsim10 m⊕ whose orbit lies in approximately the same plane as those of the distant KBOs, but whose perihelion is 180 away from the perihelia of the minor bodies. In addition to accounting for the observed orbital alignment, the existence of such a planet naturally explains the presence of high-perihelion Sedna-like objects, as well as the known collection of high semimajor axis objects with inclinations between 60 and 150 whose origin was previously unclear. Continued analysis of both distant and highly inclined outer solar system objects provides the opportunity for testing our hypothesis as well as further constraining the orbital elements and mass of the distant planet.


QUOTE
6. SUMMARY

To date, the distinctive orbital alignment observed within the scattered disk population of the Kuiper Belt remains largely unexplained. Accordingly, the primary purpose of this study has been to identify a physical mechanism that can generate and maintain the peculiar clustering of orbital elements in the remote outskirts of the solar system. Here, we have proposed that the process of resonant coupling with a distant, planetary mass companion can explain the available data, and have outlined an observational test that can validate or refute our hypothesis.

We began our analysis with a re-examination of the available data. To this end, in addition to the previously known grouping of the arguments of perihelia (Trujillo & Sheppard 2014), we have identified ancillary clustering in the longitude of the ascending node of distant KBOs and showed that objects that are not actively scattering off of Neptune exhibit true orbital confinement in inertial space. The aim of subsequent calculations was then to establish whether gravitational perturbations arising from a yet-unidentified planetary-mass body that occupies an extended, but nevertheless bound, orbit can adequately explain the observational data.

The likely range of orbital properties of the distant perturber was motivated by analytic considerations, originating within the framework of octupole-order secular theory. By constructing secular phase-space portraits of a strictly planar system, we demonstrated that a highly eccentric distant perturber can drive significant modulation of particle eccentricities and libration of apsidal lines such that the perturber's orbit continuously encloses interior KBOs. Intriguingly, numerical reconstruction of the projected phase-space portraits revealed that, in addition to secular interactions, resonant coupling may strongly affect the dynamical evolution of KBOs residing within the relevant range of orbital parameters. More specifically, direct N-body calculations have shown that grossly overlapped, apsidally anti-aligned orbits can be maintained at nearly Neptune-crossing eccentricities by a highly elliptical perturber, resulting in persistent near-colinearity of KBO perihelia.

Having identified an illustrative set of orbital properties of the perturber in the planar case, we demonstrated that an inclined object with similar parameters can dynamically carve a population of particles that is confined both apsidally and nodally. Such sculpting leads to a family of orbits that is clustered in physical space, in agreement with the data. Although the model proposed herein is characterized by a multitude of quantities that are inherently degenerate with respect to one another, our calculations suggest that a perturber on an a' ~ 700 AU, e' ~ 0.6 orbit would have to be somewhat more massive (e.g., a factor of a few) than m' = 10 m⊕ to produce the desired effect.

A unique prediction that arises within the context of our resonant coupling model is that the perturber allows for the existence of an additional population of high-perihelion KBOs that do not exhibit the same type of orbital clustering as the identified objects. Observational efforts aimed at discovering such objects, as well as directly detecting the distant perturber itself constitute the best path toward testing our hypothesis.


So about the size of Neptune, if their hypothesis is correct.
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Holder of the Tw...
post Jul 13 2017, 02:20 PM
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New evidence in support of the {Trans-Neptunian Gas Giant} hypothesis
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- Mongo   Researchers Find Evidence Of Distant Outer Planet   Jan 20 2016, 04:58 PM
- - scalbers   This sounds familiar, perhaps written about recent...   Jan 20 2016, 05:29 PM
|- - stevesliva   QUOTE (scalbers @ Jan 20 2016, 12:29 PM) ...   Jan 20 2016, 06:42 PM
|- - scalbers   QUOTE (stevesliva @ Jan 20 2016, 06:42 PM...   Jan 21 2016, 12:43 AM
- - Steve G   Help me out here on the math. If they are mention...   Jan 20 2016, 05:43 PM
|- - JRehling   QUOTE (Steve G @ Jan 20 2016, 10:43 AM) H...   Jan 20 2016, 06:19 PM
- - Explorer1   scalbers: I recall that would have been about the ...   Jan 20 2016, 05:45 PM
- - Gerald   That far out the Hill sphere of an object should b...   Jan 20 2016, 06:35 PM
|- - surbiton   QUOTE (Gerald @ Jan 20 2016, 06:35 PM) Th...   Jan 22 2016, 03:24 AM
||- - JRehling   Gravity follows an inverse square law. If a collec...   Jan 22 2016, 03:39 AM
|- - lilmac   QUOTE (Gerald @ Jan 20 2016, 07:35 PM) Th...   Sep 2 2016, 03:54 PM
- - katodomo   QUOTE (Steve G @ Jan 20 2016, 06:43 PM) I...   Jan 20 2016, 06:56 PM
|- - tfisher   QUOTE (katodomo @ Jan 20 2016, 01:56 PM) ...   Jan 21 2016, 06:46 AM
|- - scalbers   QUOTE (tfisher @ Jan 21 2016, 06:46 AM) W...   Jan 21 2016, 05:15 PM
|- - Mongo   QUOTE (scalbers @ Jan 21 2016, 06:15 PM) ...   Jan 21 2016, 06:06 PM
|- - surbiton   QUOTE (Mongo @ Jan 21 2016, 06:06 PM) Tha...   Jan 22 2016, 03:36 AM
|- - Julius   QUOTE (surbiton @ Jan 22 2016, 04:36 AM) ...   Jan 22 2016, 12:16 PM
|- - Mongo   QUOTE (surbiton @ Jan 22 2016, 04:36 AM) ...   Jan 22 2016, 12:20 PM
- - Gladstoner   I recall reading somewhere about an observed (poss...   Jan 20 2016, 10:54 PM
|- - vossinakis   QUOTE (Gladstoner @ Jan 21 2016, 12:54 AM...   Jan 25 2016, 09:24 AM
- - Holder of the Two Leashes   QUOTE (Mongo @ Jan 20 2016, 10:58 AM) ...   Jan 20 2016, 11:35 PM
- - 0101Morpheus   Gladstoner. I was under the impression that the s...   Jan 20 2016, 11:37 PM
- - elakdawalla   Most of the answers to all of your questions can b...   Jan 21 2016, 12:34 AM
- - Phil Stooke   I'm waiting until I can make a map of it befor...   Jan 21 2016, 05:15 AM
|- - JRehling   QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jan 20 2016, 10:15 P...   Jan 21 2016, 05:16 PM
- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (Mongo @ Jan 20 2016, 05:58 PM) Fre...   Jan 21 2016, 03:33 PM
|- - JRehling   Two noteworthy sentences in the article: "No...   Jan 21 2016, 07:43 PM
- - alan   QUOTE Ok, what about a "null hypothesis...   Jan 21 2016, 04:34 PM
- - ZLD   Wasn't the VLT paper just last month getting l...   Jan 21 2016, 04:35 PM
|- - stevesliva   QUOTE (ZLD @ Jan 21 2016, 11:35 AM) Wasn...   Jan 21 2016, 05:27 PM
|- - Caotico09   QUOTE (ZLD @ Jan 21 2016, 10:35 AM) Wasn...   Jan 21 2016, 11:17 PM
- - Explorer1   Margot's 2015 paper criteria ( http://arxiv.or...   Jan 21 2016, 06:48 PM
- - Gerald   Globuar clusters are billions of years old and of ...   Jan 22 2016, 11:49 AM
- - scalbers   On the other hand, planet 9 would be near the bord...   Jan 22 2016, 05:38 PM
|- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (scalbers @ Jan 22 2016, 06:38 PM) ...   Jan 22 2016, 07:14 PM
- - JRehling   This paper, Trujillo and Sheppard (2014), is so im...   Jan 22 2016, 07:26 PM
|- - JRehling   Funny, yet thought-provoking: Possible Undiscover...   Jan 22 2016, 09:11 PM
- - Floyd   The latest Scientific American has an article on t...   Jan 26 2016, 12:40 AM
- - TheAnt   Oh yes I did run into that SciAm article also, bef...   Jan 27 2016, 02:55 PM
- - jasedm   I agree. Evidence there isn't (as yet)   Jan 27 2016, 07:03 PM
- - fredk   Agreed. Possibly "indirect evidence" or...   Jan 27 2016, 09:04 PM
- - Habukaz   It's easy for a definition of the word evidenc...   Jan 27 2016, 11:00 PM
|- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (Habukaz @ Jan 27 2016, 11:00 PM) I...   Jan 28 2016, 12:47 AM
- - Floyd   We have the original data in the orbital parameter...   Jan 27 2016, 11:45 PM
- - nprev   MOD NOTE: Enough with the semantics, please.   Jan 28 2016, 01:39 AM
- - Gerald   Citing this article: QUOTE The 0.007% chance that ...   Jan 28 2016, 09:56 AM
|- - JRehling   Part of the background of the complexity here is t...   Jan 28 2016, 11:09 AM
|- - fredk   QUOTE (JRehling @ Jan 28 2016, 12:09 PM) ...   Jan 28 2016, 03:09 PM
- - Anders   There was a SETI talk by dr Ann-Marie Madigan. She...   Jan 31 2016, 08:43 PM
- - 0101Morpheus   Even if the inclination instability model was corr...   Feb 4 2016, 11:31 PM
|- - JRehling   FWIW, Ganymede and Titan have larger diameters tha...   Feb 5 2016, 12:52 AM
- - nprev   MOD NOTE: Let's please not drift into the endl...   Feb 5 2016, 12:28 PM
- - selden   More constraints on the possible orbit: Coralling...   Mar 26 2016, 01:56 PM
|- - JRehling   I think this paper is likely to run into difficult...   Apr 11 2016, 04:30 PM
- - scalbers   Clever with consideration of resonances. It appear...   Mar 26 2016, 03:11 PM
|- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (scalbers @ Mar 26 2016, 04:11 PM) ...   Apr 10 2016, 01:37 PM
|- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (scalbers @ Mar 26 2016, 04:11 PM) ...   Apr 10 2016, 06:51 PM
|- - dtolman   An author at Centauri-Dreams.org started the ball ...   Apr 11 2016, 03:25 PM
|- - Steve5304   QUOTE (dtolman @ Apr 11 2016, 03:25 PM) A...   Apr 12 2016, 06:28 PM
|- - JRehling   The lack of innovation has been discussed and larg...   Apr 12 2016, 11:40 PM
|- - dtolman   With the electric-ion engines we have now - isn...   Apr 13 2016, 11:18 AM
- - JohnVV   to go with "HSchirmer" post #55 way back...   Apr 12 2016, 03:09 AM
- - Explorer1   Following up on dtol man, today's laser sail a...   Apr 12 2016, 04:51 PM
- - nprev   MOD NOTE: Let's please stay on topic.   Apr 13 2016, 11:39 AM
- - AJAW   Two relevant things: First, Mike Brown and Konsta...   May 2 2016, 02:52 PM
- - Phil Stooke   This would make a good test of the laser propulsio...   May 2 2016, 03:41 PM
- - Gerald   For visual magnitude 14 stars, GAIA should see dis...   May 2 2016, 04:00 PM
|- - fredk   QUOTE (Gerald @ May 2 2016, 05:00 PM) Thi...   May 2 2016, 07:39 PM
|- - AJAW   Thanks for the info. The size of the gravitational...   May 2 2016, 08:31 PM
- - fredk   According to the reference Gerald cited, at 20th m...   May 2 2016, 09:34 PM
- - AJAW   Thanks fredk. Pity about the accuracy change. One ...   May 2 2016, 10:03 PM
- - TheAnt   Planet 9 might literally be out of this world. A...   Jun 1 2016, 05:09 PM
- - jasedm   No expert in celestial mechanics me, but my initia...   Jun 1 2016, 06:57 PM
|- - JRehling   Planet Nine should perhaps be given the provisiona...   Jun 1 2016, 08:27 PM
|- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (jasedm @ Jun 1 2016, 06:57 PM) No ...   Jun 1 2016, 11:29 PM
|- - TheAnt   QUOTE (jasedm @ Jun 1 2016, 08:57 PM) Hap...   Jun 2 2016, 04:13 AM
- - JohnVV   or plan 9 from planet 9 (been playing with ...   Jun 1 2016, 08:44 PM
- - nprev   All right, you guys.... Jasedm is exactly right...   Jun 3 2016, 07:37 AM
|- - HSchirmer   QUOTE (nprev @ Jun 3 2016, 08:37 AM) (I...   Jun 14 2016, 06:31 PM
- - scalbers   The exoplanet hypothesis is also discussed in the ...   Jun 3 2016, 06:21 PM
- - jasedm   Sorry, I didn't mean to set the cat amongst th...   Jun 3 2016, 07:30 PM
- - Gerald   The most recent paper of Mike Brown et al. about t...   Jun 14 2016, 02:56 PM
- - testguru   Will this new dwarf planet's [MOD: 2015 RR245]...   Jul 12 2016, 07:52 PM
- - Explorer1   Best place for Planet 9 info is the blog the paper...   Jul 12 2016, 08:37 PM
- - Gerald   When looking at the graphics, my first impression ...   Jul 12 2016, 08:57 PM
- - alan   The objects influenced by Planet 9 are those with ...   Jul 13 2016, 05:19 PM
- - Lucas   There's an article about this in today's N...   Jul 14 2016, 11:28 AM
- - alan   QUOTE (Lucas @ Jul 14 2016, 06:28 AM) but...   Jul 14 2016, 06:47 PM
- - Mongo   Solar Obliquity Induced by Planet Nine QUOTE The ...   Jul 15 2016, 12:53 AM
- - Mongo   New Extreme Trans-Neptunian Objects: Towards a Sup...   Sep 1 2016, 01:18 AM
- - nprev   MOD NOTE: Just a reminder that in accordance with ...   Sep 1 2016, 05:01 AM
- - alan   QUOTE (Mongo @ Aug 31 2016, 08:18 PM) New...   Sep 2 2016, 08:06 PM
|- - Mongo   QUOTE (alan @ Sep 2 2016, 08:06 PM) Odd g...   Sep 3 2016, 02:06 AM
- - HSchirmer   Crowdsourcing astronomy https://www.zooniverse.or...   Apr 3 2017, 01:49 PM
|- - JRehling   Interesting work. I would note that, if there is n...   Apr 6 2017, 03:55 AM
- - TheAnt   Indeed it's catchy headline, and that attract...   Apr 8 2017, 12:25 PM
- - Holder of the Two Leashes   Now there is evidence of another fairly large body...   Jun 23 2017, 02:22 PM
- - Holder of the Two Leashes   The latest ... New evidence in support of the {Tr...   Jul 13 2017, 02:20 PM


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