Home / Spring 2016 / 2016-02-04 / Researchers Predict Undiscovered Planet in our Solar System

Researchers Predict Undiscovered Planet in our Solar System

This artist's conception illustrates a gas giant planet alone in the dark of space, ejected from its own star system. Astronomers think our solar system might hold a distant ninth planet, hurled to the fringes during the solar system's early evolution. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Written by Miles Brown, Staff Writer

Recently, it was discovered that there may in fact be a new planet in our solar system. Some have called it “Planet 9” due to its potential position in our solar system. Like many times before, there have been instances and reports of new planets, sometimes called “Planet X.”

There are many clues that researchers and scientist have observed that support an argument that there is a new planet.  However, the interesting thing is this “new planet” has not been seen by anyone yet. For all we know, the new planet is practically invisible.

Scientist has been trying to explain this new planet phenomenon by observing the orbits of 6 Kuiper Belt objects. These objects are nothing but large chunks of ice orbiting just outside Neptune’s orbit. Scientists believe that the reason all the chunks of ice orbit in a similar path because of a bigger object is not due to coincidence. This big object would be larger than the size of Earth or Mars, and therefore gave many reasons to believe there is a planet we have yet to actually discover. This planet’s gravity would attract the other ice chunks to one another and make it so that they would orbit in a similar way. The scientists believe this theory is possible only because of the way the ice chunks orbit, saying that it couldn’t be coincidence. Last July 4,  NASA’s new space craft flew past Pluto and helped spark this debate and theory of a new planet.

It is still too early to completely declare that there is a new planet in our solar system. However, this new data and information from NASA has really provided the world with a clearer view of what is beyond Neptune and Pluto. NASA and human technology has never been so far into space than now. This is a reason why there is now new info about this theorized planet. By allowing the spacecraft more time in the area of space past Pluto, there will be more information about where exactly the theorized planet will be. It will also give more information on what else may be in the solar system, and possibly, new things humans have yet to discover.

Although this new planet has not been seen by the human eye, there seems to be evidence suggesting it very well can exist. Examples that suggest this are ideas and theories that “Planet 9” is 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune; it is located in the Kuiper Belt.

Some people, like Space.com writer Calla Cofield, believe that the presence of a planet is a strong possibility.

“The motion of some known bodies in the Kuiper Belt could be explained by the presence of a massive planet” Cofield said in a Space.com article.

There is also evidence that can refute the claim that there is a new planet because it may not exist. In the upcoming months, we will find out what is fact truth, with the use of a Subaru telescope in Hawaii that will scan the sky in the region where the planet may be. For more information and news about this potential new planet visit Space.com.

 

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