Saturn Spacecraft Not Affected by Hypothetical Planet 9

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Saturn as seen by NASA's Cassini booster in 2008. Long-term tracking of a spacecraft's position has suggested no unexplained perturbations in Cassini's orbit. Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn as seen by NASA’s Cassini booster in 2008. Long-term tracking of a spacecraft’s position has suggested no unexplained perturbations in Cassini’s orbit.
Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Contrary to new reports, NASA’s Cassini booster is not experiencing unexplained deviations in a circuit around Saturn, according to goal managers and circuit integrity experts during NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Several new news stories have reported that a puzzling curiosity in Cassini’s circuit could potentially be explained by a gravitational yank of a theorized large new world in a solar system, sneaking distant over a circuit of Neptune. While a due planet’s existence competence eventually be reliable by other means, goal navigators have celebrated no unexplained deviations in a spacecraft’s circuit given a attainment there in 2004.

“An undiscovered world outward a circuit of Neptune, 10 times a mass of Earth, would impact a circuit of Saturn, not Cassini,” pronounced William Folkner, a heavenly scientist during JPL. Folkner develops heavenly circuit information used for NASA’s high-precision booster navigation. “This could furnish a signature in a measurements of Cassini while in circuit about Saturn if a world was tighten adequate to a sun. But we do not see any unexplained signature above a turn of a dimensions sound in Cassini information taken from 2004 to 2016.”

A new paper predicts that, if information tracking Cassini’s position were accessible out to a year 2020, they competence be used to exhibit a “most probable” plcae for a new world in a prolonged circuit around a sun. However, Cassini’s goal is designed to finish in late 2017, when a booster — too low on fuel to continue on a longer goal — will thrust into Saturn’s atmosphere.

“Although we’d adore it if Cassini could assistance detect a new world in a solar system, we do not see any perturbations in a circuit that we can't explain with a stream models,” pronounced Earl Maize, Cassini plan manager during JPL.

Source: NASA