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Are researchers really this interested in 'Planet 9'

  1. Feb 13, 2016 #1
    I listened to what I thought was an interesting interview on late night talk radio on the titled subject on Coast to Coast AM radio. Synopsis below.

    [Such a discovery of another heavenly body "in our solar system would be exciting because of ancient historical records which some [Sitchin for one] believe describe such a body. Such descriptions have supposedly been found in multiple cultures...Mesopotamian and Indian among them if I recall, maybe Aztec as well. Cruttenden in the interview here seems to think the cycle of the body is more like 24,000 years; He seemed to think that so far observations over a few degrees of arc seconds in the expected direction would have to continue until at least several degrees of arc minutes were surveyed before we'd be lucky enough to spot such a distant object. Maybe we'll be lucky in our life time?]

    My specific question is whether this object is really gaining interest among mainstream astronomers as claimed in the interview. For example, have teams actually undertaken calculations to explain the odd orbits we observe in the outer reaches or our solar system. Are there strong competing theories.

    Date: Friday - February 12, 2016
    Host: Jimmy Church
    Guests: Walter W. Cruttenden,Open Lines

    "In the first half, guest host Jimmy Church welcomed theoretical archaeo-astronomer Walter Cruttenden, who discussed the recent scientific discoveries of a possible new planet as well as "gravity waves." Ten years ago, Cruttenden presented the theory that, based on the effects on the outer objects in the solar system, as well as the strangely inclined and elliptical orbit of Pluto, that there had to be another large gravitational attractor besides the sun affecting the solar system. "There's multiple items that point to a large object out there," he said, and added that the theory of another large, but unseen object beyond Pluto was even being discussed just after the time of its discovery in 1930.

    Cruttenden spoke extensively about Mike Brown, the astronomer leading the research team at Caltech who originally led the effort to demote Pluto to "dwarf planet" status, and who has since tried to locate a suspected giant planet in the outer solar system. As more objects were discovered by Brown and his team, they noticed that they were lining up in an unusual way that could not be explained by the gravitational influence of the Sun or any of the outer planets. Since the existence of a new ninth planet has been proposed, Cruttenden noted that there are probably "a thousand different astronomers" now searching for it. One caller in the second hour asked why the Hubble or Kepler space telescopes could not be used to search for the new planet. Cruttenden replied that the object may be covered in dark material and so far away that it would be very difficult to observe. He also discussed the possibility that the object may be a small, very old star that is locked in a binary system with the Sun. "I think stars like companions as much as people do," he joked. In addition to the two celestial motions (Earth's rotation and orbit around the Sun) which cause day and night and the seasons, Cruttenden proposed that the discovery of a third motion (around a distant binary star) may lead to a new way of looking at the history of the planet and hints in ancient literature about a cosmic 10- to 20,000 year cycle, which is the proposed orbital period for the unknown planet or star..."
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2016 #2
    Clearly there are some researchers who take this idea seriously as you already mentioned them.
    However there are other possible explanations for the anomalous orbit of Pluto and so on.
    Such as several small as yet undiscovered planetoids in the Kuiper belt, or random perturbation caused by chance alignments of stars near to the Sun.
    The anomalous orbits don't indicate a particular direction in which a massive unseen object within the solar system could be located, (which might be expected).
    As for drawing conclusions from ancient literature, this has to be taken as speculation at best,
    Flying horses. dragons, unicorns, angels and demons are also in ancient literature.
  4. Feb 13, 2016 #3
    According to the discussion that IS what has been determined. At least if the anomalous orbits are caused by a single object rather than random effects from multiple objects which is deemed less likely. Supposedly the groups doing the searching have concluded it's most likely due to a single gravitational source and the approximate location has likewise been estimated. I'm not claiming any of this is accurate, only that is what Cruttenden said and he was clearly excited that the Mike Brown Caltech team and others had bought onto 'his' theory.
  5. Feb 13, 2016 #4
    Another possibility would be the one-time nearby passage of a very small red dwarf star or something similar.
    Nevertheless the idea of a large as yet unseen body orbiting far from the Sun is not silly, it's worth investigating.
    Personally I wouldn't take what Stichin has to say very seriously though.
    The evidence for his ancient astronauts is flimsy to say the least.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  6. Feb 13, 2016 #5

    And that why I'm personally rooting for somebody to find such an object. Can you imagine how many small minded authoritarians would go into 'orbit' themselves??

    PS: It's 'Sitchin'. I misspelled it myself in my original post, although differently. I corrected that.
    [If anyone is not familiar with what we are talking about, see also Zecharia Sichin and Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods as another fascinating read.
  7. Feb 13, 2016 #6


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  8. Feb 16, 2016 #7


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    This is crackpottery.
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