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Sahil Badani
Sahil Badani • Jan 20, 2016

Time To Welcome Planet Nine? Scientists Obtain Substantive Proof

At the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, United States of America, astronomers Michael E. Brown and Konstantin Batygin have produced substantive theoretical evidence that points to the existence of a massive ninth planet in our Solar System.

Planet X, or sometimes called Planet Nine, is in complete contrast to dwarf planet Pluto that was ultimately demoted, in fact, it is 5000 times heavier than the latter. It is as large as Neptune, if not more; has a mass 10 times the earth’s, a diameter 2 to 4 times that of the earth, and a thick atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. What’s more, it could go down in textbooks as the fifth largest planet in our solar system.


Discovery of a new planets has been a subject a great interest. Originally, only six planets were known- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The telescope allowed the discovery of Uranus in 1781. The oddities in the orbit of Uranus suggested that something was tugging at it. As it turned out, that something was Neptune.

Just like Neptune, the evidence for Planet X is indirect. A number of small objects in the solar system, called Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are supposed to have unusual and irregular orbits. In recent years, however, scientists have been noting some odd patterns in the movement of KBOs. Now, Brown and Batygin, in their Astronomical Journal publication have identified a possible cause of these KBO patterns – a distant, Neptune-sized body that is shepherding the motion of six of these KBOs.

Planet X distorts our conception of the solar system as it is unimaginably far away, and it will take 15000 years to loop around the Sun in an orbit completely disoriented to the orbits of the other fellow planets. In comparison, Uranus takes just 165 years to do the same.

This research has sped up and intensified efforts to reach this benchmark discovery, The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is set to search the Southern Hemisphere sky soon, as is the Super Earth in Hawaii. Across the globe, experts do not reject the idea, but are far from convinced.

Source: Science

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