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Space & Astronomy

Scientists find new evidence of the mysterious Planet Nine

By T.K. Randall
April 24, 2024 · Comment icon 10 comments
An extrasolar planet orbiting a distant star.
Is there another planet out there ? Image Credit: NASA / Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)
A team of planetary scientists has found new evidence of an undiscovered planet in the outer solar system.
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.

Finding it, however, is like looking for a tiny fraction of a needle in a very big haystack.
The most recently discovered evidence in support of its existence comes courtesy of a small international team of planetary scientists who conducted a study that involved tracking the movements of long-period objects that crossed the orbit of Neptune and exhibited certain irregularities.

By using a computer simulation and taking into account various possible scenarios, they were able to determine that a large planet in the outer solar was the most likely cause of the irregularities.

While the research did not provide a way to locate this mysterious planet and there is a chance that the findings could be explained by way of other unknown forces not accounted for, the study does seem to bring the possibility of Planet Nine back into contention once again.

As things stand, however, only by directly observing this enigmatic world will we ever be able to say for absolutely certain that it actually exists.

Source: | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Alchopwn 26 days ago
So there's another planetoid out in the Kuiper Belt?  Should we be perturbed?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 26 days ago
The word planetoid has been used only by you, there is a very good reason for that, it's because the article is about a PLANET not a planetoid. Planetoid is another word for asteroid. I suspect the term you were groping for is dwarf planet, but this isn't about dwarf planets either. If Planet 9 exists it is hypothesised to be 5 to 10 times greater in mass than the Earth.   What personally perturbs you is your own business.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Duke Wellington 26 days ago
Funny, I got it.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Piney 26 days ago
Which would answer the question where is our system's super Earths/ mini Neptunes. Theoretically we should have one which Jupiter pushed somewhere.  I try to avoid politics myself except to mock a 21st C. Torie now and then. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by sanchez710 25 days ago
If scientists are able to detect planets around distant solar system how are they not able to find a planet in our own solar system? Maybe an expert could enlighten me.
Comment icon #6 Posted by diablo_04 25 days ago
Sometimes is easier to observe things in the distance as you can see the whole "picture" than observing yourself in the picture.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Piney 25 days ago
The "transit method" where they watch it crossing the front of the star.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Cho Jinn 25 days ago
Yeah, it's called Pluto.  #neverforget
Comment icon #9 Posted by Abramelin 25 days ago
It's far too small.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Abramelin 25 days ago
Quote: It will be equipped, they note, to search in new ways for the planet in a rigorous assessment of its existence. What 'new ways'?

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