The solar system could be literally be destroyed in the distant future by the mysterious “Planet X,” according to research from the University of Warwick.
“The existence of a distant massive planet could fundamentally change the fate of the solar system. Uranus and Neptune in particular may no longer be safe from the death throes of the Sun,” Dr. Dimitri Veras, the astronomer who authored the research, said in a press statement. “The fate of the solar system would depend on the mass and orbital properties of Planet Nine, if it exists.”
“Planet X” is hypothetical planet that may exist in the outer solar system, and some astronomers think it could destroy the planets Uranus and Neptune after the sun dies by hurling them out into interstellar space.
Vera’s study found when the sun begins dying about 5 to 7 billion years from now, it will blow away half of its own mass and inflate, engulfing Earth and other inner planets. The sun’s mass ejection will push Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune out to what astronomers previously assumed would be a safe distance. But Vera has a different theory.
Veras mapped numerous possible positions and sizes of a “Planet X” to find that the further away and bigger the planet is, the higher the chance distant planets would be tossed out of the solar system entirely.
“The future of the sun may be foreshadowed by white dwarfs that are ‘polluted’ by rocky debris,” he said. “Planet Nine could act as a catalyst for the pollution”
“The sun’s future identity as a white dwarf that could be ‘polluted’ by rocky debris may reflect current observations of other white dwarfs throughout the Milky Way,” he said.
“Planet X” could be the explanation for several extremely unusually phenomenon in our solar system. The mysterious backwards orbiting of the dwarf planet Niku has been seen as potentially evidence of a “Planet X.”
Astronomers believe a “Planet X” could lie at the outer edge of our solar system, and think it’s about 10 times the size of Earth. Some scientists believe “Planet X’s” gravity may be tugging on NASA’s Cassini probe orbiting Saturn. No one has ever obtained any direct evidence of the planet.
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