JAN 20, 2016 04:44 PM PST

Possible Ninth Planet Discovered Beyond Pluto in Our Solar System

Does a ninth planet exist in our solar system after Pluto, the dward planet we just recently successfully flew past and snapped pictures of with NASA's New Horizons spacecraft?
 
Scientists now believe they’ve found a planet out there that takes anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 Earth years to orbit the Sun just one time. The planet, which at this time is being called “Planet Nine,” is an icy world that is approximately 10 times heavier than that of Earth and is 20 times further from the Sun than Neptune is.
 

An artist's rendition of Planet Nine.


Although the planet hasn’t yet been imaged or seen, researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown estimate the planet is out there somewhere based on mathematical modeling and computer simulations.
 
Scientists had long thought that there must have been something out there giving Pluto and several other dwarf planets such a strange orbit around the Sun, and this new larger planet is probably the missing key to that phenomenon.
 
There are six dwarf planets known to have a very odd elliptical orbit around the Sun that are tilted about 30º away from that of other planets in our solar system, and this isn’t something that we can expect to see naturally without some other kind of force acting upon them.
 
"Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there," says Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science. "For the first time in over 150 years, there is solid evidence that the solar system's planetary census is incomplete."
 
If these findings are true, then this would be the first time since ancient times that a new planetary body has been discovered. Unlike Pluto and the other dwarf planets in our solar system, Planet Nine is actually expected to be large enough to fill the shoes of a full-blown planet.

Source: Caltech

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.
You May Also Like
JUL 08, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 08, 2018
NASA Engineers Install Revolutionary Heat Shield on the Parker Solar Probe
Despite all the things we’ve learned about the Sun over the years, we still have much to learn. Fortunately, NASA plans to send a specially-made spac...
JUL 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 29, 2018
Friday's 'Blood Moon' Dubbed the "Longest of the 21st Century"
Depending on location, those that turned their attention to the night sky on Friday, July 27th might have noticed a particularly red Moon. Experts refer to...
AUG 08, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 08, 2018
Here's Why NASA is Sending a Probe to the Sun
An upcoming NASA probe will fly closer to the Sun than any before it. Known as the Parker Solar Probe, this spacecraft will study the Sun and many of its q...
AUG 12, 2018
Space & Astronomy
AUG 12, 2018
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Rockets Toward the Sun
There’s been some serious hype regarding NASA’s Parker Solar Probe in recent memory, but now all that hype is now closer than it ever has been...
SEP 05, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 05, 2018
What Would We Even Do If We Found Aliens?
Space agencies like NASA and the European Space Agency are exceptionally busy searching our solar system for evidence of otherworldly life, but do we know...
SEP 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 09, 2018
Curiosity Rover Captures Stunning Panorama Following Successful Drill Sampling
NASA’s Curiosity rover currently sits at the forefront of the American space agency’s web page this week after capturing a breath-taking 360-de...
Loading Comments...