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Space & Astronomy

Further evidence of Planet Nine discovered

By T.K. Randall
May 18, 2018 · Comment icon 14 comments

Is there an undiscovered world in the outer solar system ? Image Credit: NASA
A small solar system object with a strange orbit has hinted at the presence of a large, unknown world.
Nobody knows exactly where it is, how big it is or if it even exists at all, but when researchers at the California Institute of Technology revealed in 2016 that the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system was a very real possibility, the hunt for this enigmatic new world began in earnest.

Believed to be up to ten times the mass of the Earth and with an orbital period of up to 20,000 years, Planet Nine, if it exists, will be situated somewhere beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Now new observations of a recently discovered planetary body known as 2015 BP519 have hinted at the presence of a gravitational influence that scientists have so far been unable to account for.
Exhibiting a tilt of 54 degrees relative to the plane of the solar system, this distant object could be the most important indicator yet that another large world lurks somewhere out in the Kuiper Belt.

If it does exist, scientists predict that the new planet will be similar to Uranus or Neptune - a cold world composed of a mixture of rock and ice with a gas envelope of hydrogen and helium.

If it has any moons, it is possible that potentially habitable subsurface oceans could exist inside them.

All that remains now is for someone to actually observe the planet directly.

Source: Popular Mechanics | Comments (14)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Alien Origins 6 years ago
Yes, yes I did read the article...The CalTech researchers that are investigating this have been doing so for a while. As a matter of fact speculation about this planet started in 2014. The planet is still hypothetical and has not been proven yet...As far as the Nibiru reference, any research into this you will find that many who believe in this fictional Nibiru also think that Planet 9/Planet X is this Nibiru. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if Planet 9 is found some day its orbit is way out beyond Neptune and is no danger to Earth. Comparing that to the fictional Nibiru where it... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
godnodog and AO are spot on, this is NOT the Nibiru garbage, this is a legitimate likely body in our solar system that strongly indicates a large planet like object in a highly eccentric orbit beyond Pluto's orbit.   It is still hypothetical although observations strongly indicate it is out there and is so distant it will be very difficult to see. That said, no doubt the Niburu cranks are likely lapping it up and claiming it as justification for their silliness.  Please read  this and the OP link Here ... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nnicolette 6 years ago
I understand that there is a lot of space out there, but I would also think that as many orbits as this object is perturbing it should be relatively easy to calculate it's location... what gives.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
It is far beyond Pluto and while it is large in size, purportedly, it is very small, relatively speaking, due to distance, and there is a LOT of space to observe.  That said, our largest telescopes (only ones capable of seeing it) are now starting to spend some time in that part of the sky in hopes of sighting it and estimates are that they will observe it within the next year and a half.  Why so long?  You don't really look for a planet, you look for a "dot" that is moving out of pattern with other dots.  It may take a year or two to actually image the correct area of the sky multiple ... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by bison 6 years ago
We've turned up a number of 'mini-Neptune' planets in our exoplanet searches. These have more mass than Earth, but less than that of Uranus or Neptune. It's been wondered why we have no planets in this mass range in our own solar system. Perhaps we do. Planet nine is suspected of having about 10 times the mass of Earth, which would put it well inside this mass range.  This mass would indicate a gaseous planet, like a smaller version of Uranus or Neptune.  
Comment icon #10 Posted by Noxasa 6 years ago
It's not scientific theory that Nibiru, Planet X or Planet 9 (whatever it's called now) is going to crash into Earth on a path that is coming from the opposite side of the sun and NASA and the government is covering it up.  Can there be other large bodies in the Ort cloud?  Sure.  But if this planet is as big as the conspiracy theories say it is and the evidence of it is so solid then we'd know exactly where it is.  But when we turn our instruments toward where they think it should be, there's nothing.   So where is it?  Until someone finds it I'd like to not hear about how it's suipp... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
Why are you discussing Nibiru alongside this possible planet and why are you calling it a conspiracy theory?  Do you understand what evidence astronomers are offering? 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Alien Origins 6 years ago
Conspiracy Theorists take what they read on alternative news sites to heart and many do not even bother to look beyond those sites. Its what I like to call Science Fiction Astronomy....CT'ers always complain the government or NASA is covering something up! I want one of them to explain how NASA or the government covers up a planet 10 times the size of the Earth! This brings me to the conspiracy theory a few years back with the blank space on Google Sky...CT'ers jumped all over this claiming it was a cover up by Google and NASA....Well if they had bothered to look into it further they would hav... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Noxasa 6 years ago
Yes, I understand the difference but to call a theory "Planet 9" without any evidence that such a world exists and in the face of observational astronomy that does not see any planet 10 times the size of Earth anywhere where the theory says it should be means the "science" shows it just doesn't exist.  They should just stop calling the anomaly that they can't explain "Planet 9."  There's simply no evidence of a planet existing to explain the observation anomalies.  Now a new theory comes out that explains why they can't find this so-called "Planet 9".  And it actually is based on all avai... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
This potential planet should not be confused with the ridiculous doomsday Nibiru of which there is zero evidence.   The evidence for this hypothetical planet is the orbits of various Kuiper Belt objects (KBO's), which is not a guess, it is solid science that points to some large object(s) moving through that distant space.  It has not been observed yet and so can not be definitively identified as a planet but don't forget that the planet Neptune was discovered in a similar way to this potential planet when astronomers noticed that Uranus was being pulled slightly out of its normal orbit... [More]

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