In recent weeks, information has caused a stir in the scientific community: it is possible that there is a planet similar to Earth hidden in the Solar System. Its name is Planet Nine, and it is located in the so-called Kuiper Belt.
The announcement was made by researchers Patryk Sofia Lykawka (Kindai University, Japan) and Takashi Ito (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan). The two published work titled Is there an Earth-like planet in the far Kuiper Belt?, in The Astronomical Journal.
Scientists rely on “verifiable observable signatures of presumed planetary disturbances” in many trans-Neptunian objects.
But what is the Kuiper Belt? Where is it located? And… is it true that there will be a presence in Latin America at his confirmation?
The Kuiper Belt is a circumstellar disk of icy objects that extends from the orbit of Neptune, 30 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, to approximately 50 AU. In particular, it is located in the outer part of the Solar System.
Its composition is similar to an asteroid belt, but larger: 20 times wider and between 20 and 200 times larger.
It is named in honor of the American astronomer, of Dutch origin, Gerard Kuiper, who speculated about it in the 1940s and 1950s. However, the Kuiper Belt was not confirmed until 1980, when Uruguayan astronomer Julio Fernández made definitive investigations.
Therefore, for some, the area is known as the Fernández Belt.
The Kuiper Belt is considered a remnant of the formation of the Solar System, with objects created in the same cloud of gas and dust as the planets, but expelled from their current orbit by Neptune’s gravity.
It contains everything from small asteroids to large dwarf planets, such as our friend (and degraded planet) Pluto, Makemake and Haumea.
Of course, and probably there is Planet Nine, which is similar to Earth in characteristics such as shape and size, but is icy and dark due to its distance from the Sun.