Scientists seem to be making more fascinating discoveries about our solar system lately. In a just-concluded study, researchers estimated that there could be a seven percent chance of another ice giant planet hiding within our system. However, other scientists are suggesting that the odds of another neighboring planet existing are very slim.
But the new study published to the preprint server arXiv reveals that the chances are not zero either. The scientists suggest that this strange world stays in the distant Oort cloud, which is a spherical region within icy fragments and comets covering the area between billions to trillions of miles from the Sun.
Where Scientists Suggest That the Ice Giant Planet Is Hiding Within the Solar System
For years, scientists have been working tirelessly to improve our astronomical knowledge about celestial bodies within our planetary system. Throughout our centuries of studying space, we have discovered eight planets, several moons, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, and other celestial bodies within the solar system.
While Pluto was previously identified as a planet, astronomers later demoted it to a dwarf planet as it does not meet the requirements of a planet. This reclassification reduced the number of planets in the solar system from nine to eight. Some scientists inspired by Percival Lowell’s 1906 pursuit believed that a colossal planet, Planet X, exists beyond Neptune’s region. While astronomers still anticipate discovering this planet someday, scientists are already suggesting the possible existence of another Ice Giant planet within the solar system.
A group of international scientists recently participated in this recent study to understand the solar system during its infant stage. While conducting the research, the team modeled the unstable celestial mechanics of the solar system during its baby stage and suggested that there could be an icy giant located in a region much distanced from where Lowell could have predicted earlier.
“It’s completely plausible for our solar system to have captured such an Oort cloud planet,” co-author Nathan Kaib, an astronomer at the Planetary Science Institute told Popular Science. “These hidden strangers are “a class of planets that should definitely exist but have received relatively little attention,” Kaib added.
Why Scientists Marvel at The Discovery Of This Ice Giant Planet
The new study did not only suggest that an ice giant planet exists in the solar system, but it also suggested that massive planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune came into existence as twin siblings. But their strong gravity made turbulent interactions occurs, thereby altering the infant solar system. scientists that participated in the study reveal that a planet periodically gets removed from its system which exposes it to experience orbital characteristics that monitor its movement.
“The survivor planets have eccentric orbits, which are like the scars from their violent pasts,” said lead author Sean Raymond, a scientist at the University of Bordeaux’s Astrophysics Laboratory.
Raymond went ahead to reveal how a planet within the Oort cloud would distance itself from Sun. The researcher also explained how the exiled planet would have developed an elongated orbit that looks like a comet’s ellipse. That type of orbit is quite different from the Earth’s orbit which moves around the sun following a circular path. The scientist revealed that detecting such a distant planet is quite different because of the vast distance which would make it appear faint to us.
Did The Scientists See the newly discovered Ice Giant As Planet X?
The idea of Planet X existing beyond Neptune’s orbit as proposed by Lowell has already inspired many scientists to believe that another hiding planet may be in the solar system. However. Raymond and his colleagues revealed that the new ice giant which they believe to be in the Oort cloud could not be planet X.
“The Oort cloud planets in our simulations would be much more distant than the proposed Planet Nine orbit—at least 10 times further away,” Kaib explained. “Our simulations cannot place planets on Planet-Nine-like orbits.”
The scientists even believed that there may be other hiding planets within the Oort cloud. However, we need more sophisticated technologies to clearly understand what lies within the Oort cloud region of the solar system. This study was published in Arxiv.
The fascinating discovery of another planet within the solar system has left many scientists astonished. While scientists are still suggesting that the chances of the Oort cloud planet existing is 7 percent, they still have to conduct more studies to confirm the existence of this planet.