all indications are that the solar system would have one more planet

Our Solar system. That astronomers have been studying it for a long time now. But they still have not unlocked all its secrets. They have therefore always wondered what the giant planets are like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune ended in the orbits we know they are today. A question that one hold off Michigan State University (USA) now provides an answer. Who could even confirm the existence of a fifth giant – the famous planet X -, the ninth planet in our solar systeme, hidden about 80 billion kilometers from ours star.

As a starting point for their work: a question concerning the so-called Nice model – because it was developed at the Observatory on the Côte d’Azur. This one wants the giant planets to take a position “compact” before they migrated to those they occupy today. All under the influence of an instability that appeared long after the disk of gas protoplanetary scattered. The researchers in Michigan State University, they tried to imagine another scenario. That with planets moving past “rebound effect” even if the disc evaporates.

“All planetary systems are formed in a disk of gas and dust. It is a natural by-product of star formation.explains Seth Jacobson, astronomer, in a communicated. But when a star lights up and begins to burn its combustible nuclear power, it emits light and heats this disc as it ends up blowing from the inside to the outside of the system ”.

an instability “very universal”

What the astronomers in Michigan State University has discovered is that this process has created a veritable gap in cloud of gas and dustremnant of the formation of our Sun. A hole that has grown and gradually catches up with the primitive orbits of the giant planets. This gives rise to the instability caused by nice model. But an instability that the simulations bring in here much earlier. “Less than 10 million years after the birth of the solar system”, say the researchers. And much faster too. With a mixture of material between the inner solar system and the outer solar system.

“This process has touched our region of the solar system. Our earth grew from there”, says Seth Jacobson. The geochemistry of our planet also seems willing to confirm the mixture evoked by the astronomers from Michigan State University while our planet was being formed. And scientists now believe that this scenario could also apply to other planetary systems. For the way in which the instability at the origin of the present structure of our solar system finally seems to have arisen turns out “more universal” than what the Nice model predicts.

A model compatible with the existence of a ninth planet

The description proposed by the researchers in Michigan State University also sheds new light on the issue of planet X, this mysterious – and still hypothetical – ninth planet that would complete the family portrait of our solar system. Remember that according to the Nice model there should have been a fifth giant planet. But that this would have been thrown out of our solar system during its period of instability, thus helping the others gas giants – those we know well – to settle permanently in their respective lanes. The problem is that some astronomers believe that a giant planet is still hiding on the edge of our solar system. But they are still struggling to find evidence.

The new model presented here does not provide a definitive answer. Scientists simply notice that their simulations give similar results when starting from a system consisting of four or five giant planets. A system built from the start of four gas giants ends with orbits that match very well those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. But a system that was originally composed of five gas giants ultimately emerges as the most likely to end up with four giant planets. Let’s hope that the Vera Rubin Observatory – which is due to go into operation at the end of next year – will finally give us the answer!

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