Planet 9: Secret, dark world hiding in our solar system


01/22/2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Astronomy and Space News


Planet 9

The recent find of a huge planet might be sitting at the edge of our solar system without ever being seen.

If the planet exists, it is thought to be about ten times as massive or three times as large as Earth. Caltech’s Konstantin Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science, and Mike Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy, discuss new research that provides evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system.

“This would be a real ninth planet,” says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy. “There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.”

It would be around 200 to 300 times as far away from the sun as we are when it gets closest to the star, scientists say. It will spend some of its time as much as four times as far away as that, and an entire orbit of the sun probably takes about 20,000 years.

 

share this...Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Reddit0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Tumblr0
Comments