Planet X will kick out one of the gas giants when the sun dies. If recent suspicions are correct and our solar system actually has a ninth planet, this planet will become a problem for one of our gas giants when the sun dies, claims Dr Dimitri Veras of the Department of Physics, Warwick university.
In about seven billion years our sun will die. In addition, the star will blow away about half of its mass and change then gradually into a white dwarf. When our sun swells, the planets closest to the sun, including Earth, will be swallowed up by the star.
The gas giants, who are at much greater distance, seemed safe: they are being pushed away by the material that the sun emission. At least, we thought.
Researcher Dimitri Veras from Warwick university now suggests that the fate of at least one of the gas giants probably will be different. And all because of that planet X. If this planet really exists, it can, at the moment when the sun dies, pose a major threat to one of the four gas giants.
Kicked Out For Good
According to Veras it is possible that planet X will not be pushed away in the same way as the gas giants by the material that the sun emission. In fact, the planet can head to the sun and thereby exert a fatal influence on one of the gas giants. Probably Neptune or Uranus. If that happens, the gas giant in question will probably be kicked out the solar system for good by Planet X.
Mass and Location
Scientists announced in January this year that there are strong indirect evidence that our solar system has an undiscovered planet. The planet would be ten times larger than Earth and is very far away from the sun. Although the hunt for Planet X is still open, its existence remains unproven. But researchers are hopeful that they will find the planet within five years.
That would mean that our solar system have an even more violent future than expected. But how big is the chance of this actually happen? It depends on the still unknown mass of planet X. The larger the mass, and the greater the distance between the planet X and the sun, the greater the chance that one of the gas giants will be kicked out of the solar system.
The study of Veras can not only give more insight into the future of our solar system, but also in the past by other systems. Veras notes that white dwarfs around us contain a remarkable number of rock debris. Possibly those systems ever possessed a planet X that by the end of the life of its star has made a mess of it, based on the rock debris that is flying around the white dwarfs.