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Could we have a ninth planet?

This artistic rendering shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side. Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

Could we have a ninth planet?

Astronomers believe they have found a ninth planet in our solar system.

Could we have a ninth planet?

New evidence found by Caltech (The California Institute of Technology) researchers suggests the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system, lying just beyond the sadly downgraded “dwarf planet” Pluto.

Scientists suspect that the planet is ten times the mass of earth and orbits 20 times farther out than Neptune. Owing to it’s distance from the sun, the ninth planet would take approximately 10,000 to 20,0000 years to make a full orbit around the sun, according to a statement by Caltech.

The planet was discovered through mathematical modelling and computer simulations by researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown. Based on the modelling and calculations Brown believes it to be the “the most planet-y of the planets in the whole solar system.” It is said to dominate the region and serve the purpose of clearing out debris from our solar system and keeping all our planets in place, potentially making it the hardest working planet in our entire system and as Brown claims, “the most planet-y“. Theoretical exists but the giant planet has not yet been observed, so get your telescopes out.

Many scientists are still skeptical. Nasa’s chief scientist, Ellen Stofan says she would need telescopic evidence, however concedes that there is a possibility it exists due to the fact that NASA have discovered many planets beyond our system that are in this size category, otherwise known as ‘Super-earth’s. “The fact that we don’t have a planet in that size class between Earth and Neptune makes us think, ‘well, maybe we are missing one’, and maybe they’ve predicted it”, Stofan said in an interview with the BBC News.

Astrophysicist Alan Duffy in Australia, explains what this discovery means for us all.


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