UA Science

You are here

10/24/19: SO/NSF's OIR Lab Joint Colloquium Series: Chad Trujillo, NAU

Room: 

Title: The Search for an Undiscovered Giant Planet in our Solar System

Abstract:
The most distant objects in our solar system exhibit an orbital alignment in both their closest approach position and the plane of their orbits. Such an alignment would be erased by the action of the known giant planets on timescales significantly shorter than the age of our solar system. Dynamical simulations demonstrate that an undiscovered giant planet several times the Earth's mass hundreds of astronomical units from the Sun can shepherd these orbits into alignment. I will present the observational evidence for this hypothesized giant planet, show where in the sky the planet might be and discuss why it's plausible that it could be discovered in the next few years using the most powerful survey telescopes in the world.