Mysterious planet the size of Neptune lurks in the Oort cloud: New discovery by researchers

The Oort Cloud, a huge cluster of icy objects at the edge of the solar system, may be home to an unknown planet the size of Neptune. This astonishing discovery was made by an international team of scientists who modeled the processes that led to the formation of our planetary system.

The Oort Cloud, according to NASA, is a huge sphere of billions of icy bodies that range from several hundred billion to several trillion kilometers from the Sun. It is from this cloud that many comets are thought to originate, and it may also be home to the mysterious Planet X, a hypothetical celestial body of gigantic size that influences Neptune’s orbit. Hypotheses about the existence of Planet X were proposed by astronomer and entrepreneur Percival Lovell in 1906. In recent decades, however, this hypothesis has been disproved, and Pluto, discovered in 1930, has been reclassified as a dwarf planet. But a new study, awaiting peer review, could change all our ideas about the solar system.

Researchers say that during the formation of the solar system, about 4.5 billion years ago, protoplanets collided with each other under the influence of gravity, causing large chunks of “space debris” to be ejected from the system. But it turned out that up to 10% of these ejected planets may have remained at the boundaries of their systems. This means that some planets the size of Neptune could escape the attraction of the Sun and remain in the Oort cloud.

Sean Raymond, an astrophysicist and professor at the University of Bordeaux in France, led a research team that ran simulations of this process. They found that many wandering planets are observed outside their star systems. However, the probability that one of these planets formed in our system and entered the Oort cloud is only 0.5%. Nevertheless, it is more likely that a planet similar to Neptune came from another star system and was “trapped” in the Oort cloud. The probability of such an event is about 7%.

If these results turn out to be correct, then we can talk about the existence of an object similar to Planet X, although it will still be at a considerable distance from the Sun and will not affect Neptune’s orbit. However, this may be the first step to new discoveries and understanding of the formation of planetary systems.

This discovery raises many questions and requires further research. How did this planet get into the Oort cloud? What mechanisms led to its formation? And, most importantly, what other mysteries does the solar system hide?

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