Seven hypothetical planets proposed by scientists

Table of contents:

Seven hypothetical planets proposed by scientists
Seven hypothetical planets proposed by scientists
Anonim

One of the hypothetical planets was at one time and Neptune: its existence was predicted by astronomers, although for a long time it remained invisible to telescopes. Many hypotheses have been disproved, others are still awaiting confirmation.

solar system

Planet X

At the beginning of the 19th century, astronomers, using Newton's laws, predicted the existence of another planet, whose gravitational force influenced the trajectory of Uranus. It turned out to be Neptune. However, its mass, according to scientists' calculations, was insufficient to explain the orbit of Uranus.

Another planet, the ninth planet, was supposed to exist in the solar system, which the American astronomer Percival Lowell dubbed Planet X. However, the search for the mysterious planet was not crowned with success. Even later discovered, Pluto did not have sufficient mass to exert the necessary influence on the orbit of Uranus.

The search for Planet X did not end until 1989, when the Voyager 2 spacecraft accurately measured the mass of Neptune. Its value turned out to be much greater than predicted by scientists, which fully explained the shift in the orbit of Uranus.

Image

Planet between Mars and Jupiter

In the 16th century, Johannes Kepler drew attention to the huge gap between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. According to him, another planet should have been hidden in it. Many astronomers have supported his suggestion.

The orbit of the invisible planet was accurately calculated, and scientists systematically surveyed the sky in search of it, looking through their telescopes. In 1801, a celestial object was indeed discovered, whose orbit coincided with the predicted, but its size turned out to be too small for a full-fledged planet.

We are talking about Ceres, which for many years was classified as an asteroid. It is currently considered a dwarf planet, just like Pluto.

Image

Theia

Theia is a hypothetical planet similar in size to Mars, whose collision with Earth 4, 4 billion years ago led to the formation of the Moon.

The name was given to her by the English geochemist Alex Holliday in honor of the Titanide, who, according to Greek mythology, gave birth to Selena - the goddess of the moon.

It must be admitted that the origin of the natural satellite of the Earth is still a mystery to scientists. The theory of a giant collision between the Earth and Theia is one of the most likely hypotheses. However, there are others.

It is possible, for example, that the Earth and the Moon were formed in pair at the birth of the Solar System, or the Moon was pulled to our planet by gravitational forces.

Image

Volcano

Uranus was not the only planet whose trajectory did not match theoretical predictions. An abnormal displacement of the perihelion of Mercury, discovered in 1859, led astronomers to search for the hypothetical planet Vulcan within the orbit of the smallest member of the planetary family.

This task was very difficult because of the bright sunlight. Many scientists mistook the dark spots on the Sun for the mysterious Volcano.

The problem was solved only in 1915 thanks to Einstein's general theory of relativity (GR). Due to the adjustments made by general relativity in the calculations of the orbit of Mercury, the need for an additional planet has disappeared.

Image

Phaeton

The discovery of the second large asteroid, Pallas, a year after the discovery of Ceres led German astronomer Heinrich Olbers to speculate that both asteroids were fragments of an ancient planet destroyed by a comet collision.

But in this case, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, there should have been many more fragments of the destroyed planet. The discovery of Juno and Vesta a few years later confirmed this hypothesis.The ancient planet was christened Phaethon in honor of the mythological son of the sun god, who crashed in his father's chariot.

However, the mass of all bodies in the asteroid belt is too small for a planet. In addition, the asteroids themselves are very different from each other, so most scientists believe that the asteroid belt was formed as a result of the attraction of small fragments.

Planet V

Another hypothetical planet that should have existed 4 billion years ago between the asteroid belt and Mars. It was predicted by NASA experts Jack Lissot and John Chambers.

According to their calculations, the orbit of planet V was extremely unstable and eccentric. The fifth planet was supposed to die as a result of a meteorite bombardment, falling, in the end, on the Sun. However, its death has nothing to do with the formation of the asteroid belt.

Image

The fifth gas giant

One of the explanations for the meteorite bombardment, as a result of which many craters were formed on the Moon, as well as on several planets, is the so-called model of Nice (it was developed in the famous city on the French Riviera).

According to this model, the orbits of the outer gas giants - Saturn, Uranus and Neptune - were initially much smaller. After the scattering of the protoplanetary disk of gas, these planets moved to their current positions.

Planetary migration aptly explains many of the phenomena discovered in the solar system, but it requires another additional gas giant to carry it out. According to scientists, as a result of cosmic cataclysms, planet V, in the end, was thrown out of the solar system.

Popular by topic