In 2011 astronomers and astrophysicists proposed a daring new hypothesis. Researchers discovered that in addition to the known gas giant planets of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune there was a fifth planet ou there that mysteriously vanished some time ago. It seems that the fifth giant gas planet was ejected by Jupiter, during a close encounter with the gas giant, roughly 4 billion year ago.
Scientists tend to view this as a planetary scale chess game, where pawns would do battle with kings or queens and are thrown out of the game. It would seem that a similar event happened back in the early years of our Solar System.
The phenomenon of planetary ejection is not uncommon among the scientific community. For many years now, a couple of papers were written on the subject, explaining the basic mechanics behind the event. It seems that during a close planetary encounter, a planet tends to accelerate at great velocities in order to escape from the Sun’s gravitational pull.
Still, there are quite a lot of gaps in the theory, because, at some degree, it fails to explain what happens to the smaller celestial bodies during such an encounter.
Ryan Cloutier, a PhD candidate in astronomy and astrophysics, said that he and his colleagues were set on determining how such a close encounter could affect smaller celestial bodies such as the moons orbiting around the gas giants.
Using supercomputers, the team of astrophysicists and astronomers developed planetary simulations based on the current trajectories of Iapetus and Callisto, the two moons orbiting around Jupiter. This experiment was meant to ascertain if the trajectories of the two moon might have been affected if, theoretically, Jupiter had a close encounter with another giant gas planet.
Results pointed out that fifth giant gas planet was ejected by Jupiter, after which it managed to retain Callisto as its moon into orbit. Another proof that goes along to reconcile and further reinforce the initial supposition is the very presence of the moon Iapetus.
Researchers said that have not Jupiter underwent a planetary ejection, the current trajectory of Iapetus would not have consistent with modern-day measurements.
As to the whereabouts of the planet that has been ejected from our Solar System, scientist could not establish any working hypothesis. What went on the verges of our Solar System and the outcome of battle between the Titans is a mystery yet to be solved by modern science.
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