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The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters published two new research studies that claimed two planets lie at the far edge of our solar system.
Beyond Pluto, in the space’s dark depths, lies the ETNO. This acronym comes from “extreme trans-Neptunian objects.” Scientists studied 13 ETNOs in their researches. ETNOs are frigid, presumably rocky bodies much similar to the planet Sedna. They travel around our Sun at considerable distances and have elliptical paths.
The members of the study team indicated that there is a specific type of details that characterize ETNO orbits. They should have an axis called semi-major axis. This means the average distance from the sun is about 150 astronomical units (AU). (1 AU describes the distance from our home planet to the sun – roughly 150 million kilometers, or 93 million miles.) The orbits of ETNOs should have a relative inclination to the plane of our solar system. The inclination should be of around 0 degrees, included in other characteristics.
In fact, the orbits of the 13 ETNOs pose different traits. The semi-major axes can range from 150 to 525 AU. The average inclinations can be of about 20 degrees.
Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, the lead author of the Complutense University of Madrid, stated that the surprising orbital parameters suggest invisible forces alter the distribution of the orbital members of the ETNOs. They consider that a very plausible explanation could be the existence of unknown planets beyond Pluto, beyond Neptune. The data limitation makes an uncertain estimation of the planets number. Still, according to calculations, two more planets orbit around sun.
The researchers explained that these planets would be larger than Earth and between them and the sun can be a distance of about 200 AU, even more. The current instruments have limitations that make almost impossible a potential observation from Earth.
The new results are not the only ones that point to the existence of a so-called Planet X. In March last year Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo announced that they discovered 2012 VP113. This is another ETNO that orbits around our sun and the closest it gets it’s about 80 AU. This new celestial body and Sedna are two of the inhabitants from the “inner Oort Cloud”. This is a massive unexplored region beyond Pluto.
Image Source: Metro