The field of dynamical systems theory, greatly advanced by Henri Poincar´e in the late 19th century, has made invaluable contributions to celestial mechanics, helping to describe motion in the solar system and beyond. Poincar´e famously employed the techniques of dynamical systems to address the Three-Body Problem. In recent years, a myriad of research has addressed the possibility of the existence of a new planet (“Planet Nine”) beyond Neptune, based on evidence from the unique structure of various objects observed in the Kuiper Belt. Initial research out of the California Institute of Technology has engendered significant controversy over concerns of selection bias and lack of evidence, despite claims of a high level of certainty in their results. We created simulations in Wolfram’s Mathematica and Universe Sandbox to visualize and further study perturbations caused by Planet Nine on numerous objects in the Kuiper Belt. A Lagrange contour plot was produced in Python to observe Planet Nine’s possible effect on the solar system. From this research, the existence of Planet Nine cannot be positively established, but a better understanding of the dynamics of a system including Planet Nine can be achieved through the use of simulations and dynamical studies.
Moll, William and D’Alessio, Donna
"Research in Dynamical Astronomy and the Quest for Planet Nine,"
Locus: The Seton Hall Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 6, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarship.shu.edu/locus/vol6/iss1/8