Astronomers at The California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) claim to have evidence that, in our Solar System, there is a ninth planet orbiting the sun, even further away than Pluto.
It is thought to be a Super Earth, meaning that it is the between the sizes of Earth and Neptune, a category that many planets outside our Solar System fall into. Their calculations reveal that Planet X orbits 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune (the current outermost planet); this means that it should take around 15,000 years to complete one full circle around our star.
The team have yet to find physical evidence of the new planet but if true, it will have 10 times the mass of Earth. With their theories being published worldwide, the CALTECH scientists are sure that people will begin to search for Planet Nine and therefore help with their research.
Dr Brown, one of the astronomers said:
“The most distant objects all swing out in one direction in a very strange way that shouldn’t happen, and we realised the only way we could get them to swing in one direction is if there is a massive planet, also very distant in the Solar System, keeping them in place while they all go around the Sun,”
Many other well-known scientists agree with the team’s findings, saying that the layout of the Solar System and the planet’s sizes suggests that a planet, around the size of Earth and Mars, could be a possibility.
However, NASA’s chief scientist, Dr Ellen Stofan says that she needs physical, telescopic evidence before she believes CALTECH. She does agree that the evidence and research gathered does imply that there’s an undiscovered planet.
So what do you think? Is there another planet? Or are the CALTECH astronomers on cloud nine for nothing?
By Autumn and Finnerty