Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

Prospects for unseen planets beyond Neptune

3Thursday, May. 3
Renu Malhotra, University of Arizona
105 Space Sciences Bldg.

Several recent studies have appealed to statistical analyses of the orbital distribution of distant Kuiper belt objects to argue for the existence of a roughly Earth-mass planet orbiting at about three times Neptune’s distance and a roughly ten Earth-mass planet orbiting at about twenty times Neptune’s distance.  These hypothetical planets have been informally labeled Planet 10 and Planet 9.  I will review the arguments and the prospects for the existence of these unseen planets in the distant solar system.

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