Caltech Findings Suggest Ninth Planet In Our Solar System

Ninth Planet findings
Image courtesy of National Geographic

Move over Pluto, it looks like our solar system has a new ninth planet, at least according to current Caltech findings. Planet Nine, as it’s called, appears to have a mass that is roughly 10 times that of our planet and it’s about 20 times further from the sun. The planet also appears to have an orbit of 10,000-20,000 years per revolution around the sun.

Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of Caltech haven’t actually seen the planet itself though. Other research helped them to achieve this conclusion. They based their conclusion on finding that certain objects in the field of icy objects and space debris beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt all orbit in the same direction.

After mathematical modeling and computer simulations, Batygin and Brown concluded that it was a plaent that was exerting the necessary gravity to influence the orbit of these objects. According to Brown:

“There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third,” he said. “It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting”

Unlike Pluto, which lost its planet status a decade ago, there isn’t a debate in whether or not this is an actual planet. Brown, who was of the researchers who helped Pluto lose its designation, is thrilled about the new planet’s discovery.

“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,” he said. “Now we can go and find this planet and make the solar system have nine planets once again.”

Seeing the planet will depend on where Planet Nine is in its orbit which is considered “bizarre and “highly elongated.” Though, Brown would like to see it found, even if he it’s not him.

“…but I’d also be perfectly happy if someone else found it,” he said. “That is why we’re publishing this paper. We hope that other people are going to get inspired and start searching.”

So, those of you upset by the fact that our solar system only has eight planets currently can relax. It appears that we just may have a ninth planet again. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media.

  Source: CNN
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