FEB 03, 2019 7:25 PM PST

Explaining the Strange Orbit of 'The Goblin' with... a Ninth Planet?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Astronomers have tried to prove the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system for the better part of the last decade. This hypothetical planet has been called many names, such as Planet 9 and Planet X, but proving that it exists has been nothing short of a challenge, and frankly, no one’s entirely sure that it indeed exists.

Astronomers estimate that this so-called ninth planet would be ten times more massive than Earth and that its orbital period lasts anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 years. These bizarre circumstances make it that much more difficult to capture the planet in action, as no one knows where to look for it.

To make matters worse, this hypothetical ninth planet is thought to be so far away from Earth that it wouldn’t be observable by any modern space telescope. Instead, astronomers try to hypothesize its existence by studying the orbital characteristics of other distant worlds, such as Inner-Oort Cloud objects like 2012 VP113, Sedna, and The Goblin.

The group of objects mentioned above are dwarf planets that exist within the inner Oort Cloud (hence the name), and astronomers say they follow unusual orbits around the Sun that could only be explained by the gravitational influence of something massive, such as a ninth planet.

As it would seem, there’s a lot more happening beyond the orbit of Pluto than we ever could have imagined, and that’s why astronomers are so unyielding about locating this ninth planet. While there’s no guarantee that it even exists, NASA says the inner Oort Cloud is teeming with trillions of icy bodies, and perhaps there could also be a few surprises out there that we don’t yet know about.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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