Mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ could exist somewhere in solar system
The Solar System currently has eight official planets, after the International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto in 2006.
However, recent evidence cited via National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory site suggests that a larger, planet-sized body could be lurking around the solar system, hidden in a thick layer of debris called the Kuiper Belt.
“There are now five different lines of observational evidence pointing to the existence of Planet Nine,” California Institute of Technology (Caltech) planetary astrophysicist Konstantin Batygin said in the post.
“If you were to remove this explanation and imagine Planet Nine does not exist, then you generate more problems than you solve. All of a sudden, you have five different puzzles and you must come up with five different theories to explain them,” he added.
The mysterious celestial body is presumed to be 10 times the mass of the Earth and most likely located 20 times away from the Sun than Neptune, the report said.
Currently, there are six known regions identified in the distant Kupier Belt, including several icy bodies stretching all the way from Neptune. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.