NASA BREAKTHROUGH: How scientists discovered 'HIDDEN planet' BETWEEN Mars and Jupiter

Asteroids, which usually sit in the inner solar system, tend to orbit the sun, but do not resemble the shape of a planet. There are millions of these rock formations flying around space and their collisions – known as impact events – have played a significant role in shaping many planets. However, they may have also helped create planets as well, according to a leading scientist. 

Carolin Crawford, a leading astronomer at the University of Cambridge, revealed how our solar system is littered with space rocks, during an “Asteroids” episode BBC Radio 4’s “In Our Time” broadcast.

She said in 2005: “Ceres is the largest asteroid (now a dwarf planet) and that’s just over 900km wide. 

“Some of the next biggest ones are about 500km across. 

“As you go down in size, you just get more and more asteroids – current estimates are into the several millions. 

“They are just lumps of rock and stone and formed within the inner-solar system left over from the formation of the planets and fragments that didn’t form a planet.”

However, Ms Crawford, 55, detailed how a clump of these space rocks between Mars and Jupiter could be evidence of a former planet. 

She explained: “Astronomers were originally looking for a hidden planet.

“When they didn’t find anything between Mars and Jupiter and instead found some small chunks of rocks, they thought perhaps that planet had exploded. 

“We now think that did not happen and it is actually just lumps of rock that did not manage to form a planet.”

It is believed the rocky planet was subject to conflicting gravitational pull between Jupiter and the sun, forcing it apart.

What was left behind was thousands of bits of rock, or asteroids.

A scientist previously admitted he was “absolutely certain” one of these would one day smash into Earth, similar to the event that wiped out the dinosaurs. 

John Zarnecki said in 2005: “It is absolutely certain that we will be hit again.

“The question is when will we be hit again? And I can’t give any predictions. 

“It could be in five years time, it could be in five thousand, or even five million.”

Mr Zarnecki and his group won the NASA Group Achievement ward for the “Huygens Surface Science Package” in 2007.

However, Jay Melosh, an American geophysicist came up with a genius plan to “save the world” back in 2009.

He revealed during Amazon Prime’s “Asteroid Trackers” series how NASA could knock the space rock off course. 

Mr Melosh said: “In space, we would use a mirror like a magnifying glass. 

“As we hit the asteroid, we begin to vaporise material and, as it vaporises, the asteroid gets pushed the other way. 

“What we would do with a real asteroid is focus some light on it until the rock vaporises.

“All we need to do is change the velocity of the asteroid by one centimetre a second. 

“That tiny nudge over the year will push it off a collision course and save Earth.” 


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.