Astronomers at Caltech have revealed the possibly discovery of a giant new celestial body in the far reaches of our solar system.
Planet Nine was discovered by researching the strange orbits of objects found in the Kuiper Belt.
With the use of mathematical models, scientists noticed that the existence of a large, previously unknown planet could explain the mystery behind these objects’ behavior and also a number of other space anomalies.
This new planet is 10 times more massive than Earth and is orbiting 20 times farther from the Sun than distant Neptune does. Although the planet appears on paper, observing it is another challenge altogether.
This would be a real ninth planet. There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.
Since scientists have no idea where the planet currently is in space, it may take some time before they manage to point a telescope at it. The planet’s orbit has been mapped out, but its exact location is not known. Still, researchers said, many telescopes on Earth have a good shot at spotting the planet, if it exists.
Planet Nine may have formed closer to the Sun, and been kicked out to its current location after a gravitational interaction with Jupiter or Saturn. If Planet Nine is real, it would fill a notable gap in our solar system.
If the presence of the planet can be confirmed, it would mean a massive discovery after decades of similar previous planetary claims came up short.
All those people who are mad that Pluto is no longer a planet can be thrilled to know that there is a real planet out there still to be found. Now we can go and find this planet and make the solar system have nine planets once again.
Will astronomers around the world find the Planet X, now that its existence has been officially proven?