Currently, a hypothetical Planet X, which could become the ninth planet of the solar system, is being sought in Saturn’s orbit, professor at the California Institute of Technology (USA) Konstantin Batygin said .
“The object we are looking for has a mass of five or six terrestrial ones, so the [Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer] WISE [Space Telescope] could not see it. Now, colleagues, especially in France, are trying to detect the gravitational signal of the ninth planet in Saturn’s orbit, because the Cassini probe, which was Saturn’s satellite, could catch it, ”the scientist said.
According to him, the analysis of the data obtained by Cassini will take one to two years, after which the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will be launched in Chile. “And there is a good chance that he will be able to find the ninth planet directly. I think that we will get some kind of answer to this task in three years. Maybe five years if we are out of luck. If we are very unlucky, in ten,” Batygin said.
On September 15, 2017, Cassini, considered one of NASA ‘s most successful missions , was flooded in the atmosphere of the gas giant. The station, launched on October 15, 1997, only seven years later, on July 1, 2004, entered the orbit of the gas giant.
On December 25, 2004, the European probe Huygens separated from the station, and on January 14, 2005 it landed on the surface of Titan, which was the first soft landing of the man-made apparatus in the outer solar system. Cassini is also known for detecting molecular hydrogen and carbon dioxide in emissions from the satellite of the planet Enceladus, which indicates the presence of potentially suitable living conditions in its bowels. The total cost of the mission is estimated at $ 3.3 billion.
In January 2016, astronomers Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology reported the detection of signs of an object the size of Neptune and ten times heavier than the Earth outside the orbit of Pluto.