We do not have any direct evidence for the planet or where it could be, but in an attempt to help astronomers find it, a team of French scientists has refined its techniques. Using radio information in the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn, they looked on the gas giant for the gravitational effects of Planet Nine. Not finding anything, they ruled out specific places where it may live.
So in the event the planet is in the point in its orbit furthest from us, we likely will not be able to find its gravitational effect.
If the planet is in the nearer half of its own orbit, the French scientists say they are able to exclude 50 percent of the orbital route that is predicted on the basis of the dearth of perturbations on Saturn. Where the planet can probably be discovered, observed below, the truth is, they’ve noticed a zone.
The research excludes the red zone. If Cassini is stretched to 2020 the pink zone may be examined, as well as the green zone is the most likely zone for Planet Nine.
The team said that in the event the Cassini mission was extended to 2020 – now it’s due to finish in 2017 into Saturn’s atmosphere using a dive – they are able to further narrow the search field. That’s unlikely to occur, but the team notes the coming Juno mission to Jupiter – due to arrive on July 4 – could partly help, even though the results of Planet Nine on Jupiter are believed to be at Saturn.
However, these results will help where Planet Nine could be astronomers refine. Its hypothesized existence made headlines all over the world, so only imagine the delight if (or possibly when) a direct detection is created.