Thursday, March 17, 2016

Where is Planet Nine?

At the time we published our paper on Planet Nine, we were working on a companion paper, that we had hoped to finish that same day, that would tell you where to look for Planet Nine. Finally, only two months later than anticipated, we have finally finished the paper.

I'll be writing in more depth about where we think Planet Nine is, how we constrain it, and how we're going about trying to find it, but, first, I want to simply put in a link to the paper, so you can go read it yourself:


Observational constraints on the orbit and location of Planet Nine in the outer solar system

Michael E. Brown & Konstantin Batygin


 Abstract: We use an extensive suite of numerical simulations to constrain the mass and orbit of Planet Nine, the recently proposed perturber in a distant eccentric orbit in the outer solar system. We  compare our simulations to the observed population of aligned eccentric high semimajor axis Kuiper belt objects and determine which simulation parameters are statistically compatible with the observations. We find that only a narrow range of orbital elements can reproduce the observations. In particular, the combination of semimajor axis, eccentricity, and mass of Planet Nine strongly dictates the semimajor axis range of the orbital confinement of the distant eccentric Kuiper belt objects. Allowed orbits, which confine Kuiper belt objects with semimajor axis beyond 230 AU, have perihelia roughly between 200 and 350 AU, semimajor axes between 300 and 900 AU, and masses of approximately 10 Earth masses. Orbitally confined objects also generally have orbital planes similar to that of the planet, suggesting that the planet is inclined approximately 30 degrees to the ecliptic. We compare the allowed orbital positions and estimated brightness of Planet Nine to previous and ongoing surveys which would be sensitive to the planet's detection and use these surveys to rule out approximately two-thirds of the planet's orbit. Planet Nine is likely near aphelion with an approximate brightness of 22<V<25.  At opposition, its motion, mainly due to parallax, can easily be detected within 24 hours.






The key figure is at the very end, as it answers WHERE SHOULD I BE LOOKING FOR PLANET NINE???? Here is that figure in a much larger form so you can see it better:

You can read the paper for details on what the colors all mean, but the quick version of the story is this: in the black regions no current or ongoing survey can detect Planet Nine through its full predicted range. Amazingly, the black region is pretty small! Each color represents a survey that should have or will detect Planet Nine if it is in that position in the sky. Light blue is earlier work of mine from a large all sky survey, dark blue is ongoing work I am doing using Pan-STARRS transient data, green is the Pan-STARRS moving object key project (with an extension, in red), yellow is the Dark Energy Survey. My favorite constraint is orange, which shows where the lack of perturbations to the position of Saturn as measured by the Cassini spacecraft rules out Planet Nine.


So now you know. Now, please, go find Planet Nine.

39 comments:

  1. Hi Mike,..Don't stop search,..I recomended to you also to speak with Gus Sinnis, Brtenda Dingus,..from Milagro (2002-2009) cosmic rays survay. They found two hot spots-areas, where P9, P10 could had been (2002-2009). One area, probably suitable for heavier and more distant P10 (cca 20000years period)is around Aldebaran. There is closest star Hyades cluster (aprox 150LY, 400MS). It looks that it moves quite quickly,..but there is probably no black hole,...or some other source of cosmic rays,.. This hot spot looks not to move, or only little, within 2002-2009. Other are are smaller hot spots, which I don't know if were detected together,..the whole measurement time or were detected one after other,...so it is probably path of P9. I wanted to speak with persons from Milagro project about this fact, but they didn't want. You maybe could be successful. What was on Milagr's result sky map is also aprox. on that my ancient astronomical source. http://senmut.webs.com/orioncarpetandmilagro.JPG They continue with similar HAWC project now,..maybe there are also some more results,.... Pavel Smutny

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  2. How long will it take to accumulate Subaru coverage of the black region?

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  3. How many nights do you estimate it would take to search the possible locations? Are you constrained by the Earth's orbital location to search during particular times of the year?

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  4. Glad to see the last paragraph of section 5.6 in there: we were discussing the Malhotra et al paper over at the Planetary Society blog and thinking it doesn't really fit with your predictions.

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  7. Hi Mike, did you try to speak with persons from (2002-2009) Milagro Los Alamos (now HAWC), cosmic rays sky survay projects (Gus Sinnis, Brenda Dingus,...)? That left cosmic rays hot spot, which consists of 7 smaller spots could be track of P9 from those (2002-2009) years. So we should look for P9 in prolongation,..of that area,.... above Virgo, or mor probable above Libra now. Detailed information about which smaller spots in which years were detected (if) could help to find present position of P9,... Pavel Smutny

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  9. What can resonant dynamics analysis of the known perturbed objects lend to your search? Is there value in trying to pin down the range of periods that would correspond to likely resonances with the known objects? Or does the existing orbital data lack enough confidence to make any meaningful conclusions?

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    1. Stephen - indeed, it is the obvious thing to do, and we are trying our best to draw out as many constraints as possible. At present, however, the number of objects is rather small, so there are huge degeneracies.

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  10. Hi Konstantin and Mike,

    The data in the figure is pretty cool, but not being an astrophysicist, it's hard to visualize it precisely in space, as in the cover picture on this blog. It would be helpful to see the data regenerated into a 3D Cartesian plot (maybe the 2D projections as well), along with the current locations of Neptune, Pluto, etc.

    Also, can the known data from Neptune and the Pluto system rule out current positions of P9, similar to the Cassini data, or is it too imprecise?

    -EMB

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    1. Read this, related to what you're asking....

      http://arxiv.org/abs/1603.09008

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  11. Hi Mike and Kostantin,..so if I am right , places which I recomended for P9, P10 are correct. Those places-hot spots from Milagros cosmic rays survay-identical with those my Atlant. sources,.. are places where planetoids with long main axes, behind Pluto were found. http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/za_neptunie/70387688/1279628/1279628_600.jpg
    Place B cca near Aldebaran, place A cca on border between Libra and Virgo,... I think, if I am correct that protons can't be accelerated on such high speeds by planetoids. There must be heavy objects in those directions, 'prolongating' orbits to their directions and must be very massive, how it results also from those ancient sources. So there could be closer P9 accelerating, prolongating planetoids (their orbits) to it's direction. (P9 is lighter, closer,because hot spots were moving quite quickly in last years) and P10-heavier (static hot spot) and much more distant-in direction Aldebaran,... Pavel Smutny

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  12. If P9 is most like the ice giants, are there wavelengths outside visible light that would spot it better against the back drop of the galactic plane? Which wavelengths do the ice giants "shine" brightest compared to everything else?

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  13. Dan, thank you for link,...it supports that there P9 and P10 too,.. I think that P9, and espec. P10 are much heavier than 10Earths,...but dark,..

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  14. When we look on Halley comet (this goes beyond Neptune too) its aphelia, perihelia too shifts cca 10 degrees per 600 years (JPL orbit simulator, diagrams show it too). What does it mean?! Halley comet makes whole cycle, (like Earth's precession too) per cca 20000years. so not only those 6 objects beyond Neptune, but also this Halley comet supports Browns claims too. I but suppose, when influence of that outer X body is stronger than that influence of Indoor, outdoor planets ,so X must be very heavy,...Pavel Smutny

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  15. Halley comet, it's main axis points in these centuries also to suspected area for X,..where are some from those 6 objects with very prolongated orbits too,.. Pavel Smutny

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  16. This recent article gives info on modeling the brightness of P9:
    http://phys.org/news/2016-04-planet.html

    Original journal article posted here:
    http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/pdf/forth/aa28350-16.pdf

    -EMB

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  17. Centaurs Pholus, Asbolus which have aphelia at Neptune go, their main axes to direction like Halley comet, 153P/Ikeya-Zhang comet, to supected area under Leo, Virgo/libra,...too. It loks that P9 (with such strong influence-must be massive)could have perihelia close to Neptune or even closer to us.

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  18. Mike and Constantin,

    The just announced Breakthrough Starshot project will need a prototyping phase. It makes me think that we should send some of the early spacechips at only a fraction of the .2c orthogonal to the ecliptic and then look back at our own system from a position where light from P9 would likely reflect well. It'll also improve the parallax analysis radically, so even a dim view of it may be easily observed.

    -EMB

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  19. Another paper on constraining the orbit

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1604.03180

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  21. On the Breakthrough Initiative's "Starshot" and Planet 9, one question is whether a vehicle can be decelerated into orbit. Aerocapture might be an option, with a bit of braking first via a magnetic-sail. Thus we might get an orbiter for Planet 9 and a test destination for the Starshot.

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  22. If planet 9 existed and returned, could it change the orbit of further objects? for the objects that have been identified already in your study, do we have an idea when roughly this could have happened? can that be linked with particular asteroid bombardments in our solar system?

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  23. It's not a matter of returning, which is something that has been grossly mis-represented in other places. And it orbits once each 10,000 years or so. No bombardments, extinctions, etc

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    1. Hi Dan,

      I was not thinking about the last two possible perihelion passages during the Mesolithic (10-20k ago) and upper paleolithic (20-40k ago), or even the previous 10!

      I am more thinking about early days of the solar system. Curious to understand if planet 9 could be the planet 5 that some scientists believe was sent out of the inner solar system by Jupiter. Sound too much of a coincidence.
      such a disturbance should have created a fair amount of instability in our solar system no?

      http://arxiv.org/pdf/1109.2949v1.pdf

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  24. Hi, problem is that materialistic official science in USA, West Europe,...ignores history of last cca 30000years. We make documents, studies about what extinctions,.. happened 65millions years ago, but what happened 11500, 13000, 6500 years ago not or sketchily. Though there are enough proofs, samples,...from ice core drilling (GISP2, VOSTOK,...)projects, from sediments over the globe,... They also ignore historical records, ancient astronomical maps,.. There are enough proofs that there were advanced civilisations, aliens colonies on this Earth. It is also very clearly written in old, ancient books, papers,..These proofs are ignored or swept under carpet,...due to they want let mankind in uncousciousnes. These proofs could help also find P9, P10,..They copy and sell to us with big profit alien technologies, we officially but don't know who are the richiest who own 80 percent of property on this Earth and who realy govern us,..

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  25. Hi,

    “Look in the direction of the Pleiades!”

    Perhaps this may help your cause … spotting ‘Planet Nine’. ...

    http://iopot.blogspot.com/2016/04/we-may-find-planet-nine-or-some-other.html

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  26. you guys gonna have an update post to the update on your paper?

    what are the chances that you find it precisely, through continued venue's through math and stats, before you find it with scans

    also, and note, it's got such a small profile in space, so do most TNOs, but at it's range, what kinda of mRAD do you need to even reflect a beam off it or diffract, polarize and enhance light from to even see it? (tried playing with the math, you couldn't even put a spot on it with most lasers out there)

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  28. Just spotted a funny typo in the v2 paper draft : "Plant Nine". :^) Section 5.6 in the discussion of Fienga et al.

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  29. Does the finding of 2015 RR245 reinforce or disprove the planet nine theory?

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    1. Found this:
      https://www.newscientist.com/article/2082650-more-evidence-for-planet-nine-as-odd-celestial-alignment-emerges/

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  30. What is precession of this Sun's tilt? Is it like at Earth toward cca Orion?! 7-10 Earths P9, is not enough.
    spaceacademy.net.au/library/notes/celestpoles.jpg … The map shows the pos. (in the sky) of the North. Celestial Poles of the Sun, Earth and Mars.
    North poles of Earth.,Sun.,Mars are not too far,..It is not coincidence,..
    Important is to find if Earth precession is till 26000years,..how it is with Sun, Mars,...?
    youtube.com/watch?v=B1kv4pO4T9Q … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrdeVtCThA4 … here are infos from more advanced ones,...
    youtube.com/watch?v=HpRLs3Nv-O0 … http://senmut.webs.com/apps/photos/

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  31. I calculated Neptune mass from Triton orbit, so M is 21Earths, from S/3002 N4 it is 17,1E-but this value is under X, Xl significant gravitational influence.
    Probably Harrington. wasn't wrong,... because they,.. used distant moons of N. for it's (Neptune) mass calc.,..There is need to recalculate mass of Neptune, because if moons with distances from Neptune till 50million km were used, so, there were significant calculation deviations due to not involving gravitational influence of X, Xl,... Probably inclinations, main axes directions of orbits of Neptune moons could tell us also more details about positions, orbits of X. Xl,.. I am pleased to hear you soon,..Pavel Smutny

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