Japanese scientists find ‘Earth-like planet’ in our solar system – Times of India

Two Japanese astronomers have found possible evidence of an “Earth-like planet” within our solar system. The planet has been residing in the Kuiper Belt, which is a circumstellar disk composed of objects in the outer solar system, beginning just past the orbit of Neptune. Like the planets, material in the Kuiper belt orbits the Sun.
“We predict the existence of Earth-like planets,” said the Japanese researchers, adding, “It’s possible that a body of a primordial planet can survive in the far Kuiper Belt as a KBP, as so many bodies existed early in the solar system.”
In their paper published in The Astronomical Journal, the duo — Patryk Sofia Lykawka of Kindai University in Osaka and Takashi Ito of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Tokyo — said the new planet, if it indeed exists, would be 1.5-3 times the size of the Earth.
Over the past decade, several studies have led to theories regarding the possible existence of a planet in the far outer edges of the solar system, which has come to be known theoretically as ‘Planet Nine’. In this new effort, the researchers suggest it is possible that there is a planet much closer — in the Kuiper Belt.
“We predict the existence of an Earth-like planet and several trans-Neptunian objects on peculiar orbits in the outer solar system which can serve as observationally testable signatures of the putative planet’s perturbations,” the team wrote in the new paper. Looking at the way the trans-Neptunian objects’ (TNOs) cluster, the team also suggested that the planet could be between 200 and 500 astronomical units (AU) away from the Sun and tilted about 30 degrees. For reference, Pluto is 39 AU’s from Earth.
“In conclusion, the results of the Kuiper Belt planet scenario support the existence of a yet-undiscovered planet in the far outer Solar System,” the team wrote. “More detailed knowledge of the orbital structure in the distant Kuiper Belt can reveal or rule out the existence of any hypothetical planet in the outer solar system,” it said.
Watch Japanese astronomers find evidence of ‘Earth-like planet’ in our solar system

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