- NASA’s Hubble Telescope Exoplanet HD 106906 provides 14 years of data.
- It exhibits strange behavior in its orbit 336 light-years from Earth.
- Scientists think that data from the Exoplanet could explain what happened to the probably hidden planet Nine in our solar system.
How many planets are there in our solar system? You may think there is an obvious answer to what you learned in kindergarten but the number fluctuates between 8 and 9 depending on whether you accept Pluto as big enough for a planet. But there is another mysterious planet that may be hiding on the edge of the solar system – the so-called “Planet Nine”. All we know about it is that it happened by conjecture, judging by the possible effects of this planet around it. Now, for the first time, scientists have measured the motion of an expansive exoplanet, in a different solar system, which may have exhibited similar behavior to that of Planet Nine.
Exoplanet HD106906 b 336 light years away from Earth. It orbits a double star system with a larger mass of 11 Jupiters. Scientists first discovered it in 2013, but thanks to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, they are now able to get much better information about its orbit. In fact, Hubble has collected 14 years of valuable accurate information about the Exoplanet, which goes with new insights.
The exoplanet is so far away from its host stars that it is as far from the Earth as the Sun. Although its 15,000-year-long orbit usually does not allow for very final observations in 14 years, the Hubble team found that its orbit is final, both inclined and elongated, surrounded by two stars. Staying out of a debris disk.
Berkeley, who led the study, commented on how unusual the orbit of the Meiji Nugain Exoplanet at the University of California was:
“To highlight why this is strange, we can simply look at our own solar system and see that all the planets are in roughly the same plane.” Shared “It would be bizarre if, say, Jupiter just happened to be 30 degrees more risky than an aircraft that orbits every other planet. HD HD 106906B raises a variety of questions about how it got so far above such a risky orbit.”
Strange exoplanet resembling the long-lasting “Planet Nine”
How did this planet develop such an orbit? Scientists think it was probably built very close to the host star, but the gas drawn from the system’s gas disk could affect its orbit. This could have pushed it closer to the twin stars, whose gravitational force then plunged almost all the way to the interstellar space. As explained in the Hubble team press release, a passing star probably modified the orbit of the exoplanet and prevented it from leaving the home system altogether.
This explanation coincides with the predictions of scientists that could push the potential Planet Nine beyond the Kuiper belt to the edge of our solar system. Jupiter could affect its orbit, expelling it from the inner solar system. Planet Nine could have passed Pluto but a passing star probably changed its orbit and stopped it.
Paul Calas of the University of California, Berkeley, a member of the Hubble team, commented that analyzing what happened in Exoplanet HD 106906B is like investigating our own past.
“It’s as if we have a time machine for our own solar system to look back at our young.lar billions of years back to see what happened when our young solar system was dynamically active and everything was being rearranged by shaking around.” Described Kalas in detail.
This image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the possible orbits of the Exoplanet HD 106906b (via dashed ellipses).
Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Engwin (University of California, Berkeley), R. D. Rosa (European Southern Observatory), and p. Calais (University of California, Berkeley and STI Institute)
Of course, none of this means we actually found Planet Nine, even if it did exist. Evidence of its physicality includes the strange behavior of small space agencies in Neptune’s past, whose inevitable orbit may have been the result of being affected by the gravitational pull of an unseen planet.
Further investigation into the formation and wreckage of the Exoplanet HD 106906B will be conducted by the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched in October 2021. It promises to further enhance our own by the unusual arrangement and extensions of the Mystery Planet Nine.
See the team’s published paper The Journal of Astronomy.
Perhaps the artist’s impression of the hidden “Planet Nine”
Credit: ESA / Hubble, M. Cornmesser