By: Anthony Stotsenberg
There’s a new planet that may entering our solar system soon, and it’s not Pluto making a return. The new planet is called Planet Nine and it’s pretty massive, about 10 times that of Earth’s own mass. This new planet could become the ninth planet to be inducted into our solar system and could be added if enough scientists support it. Due to its larger mass, there should be no debating whether the planet is in fact a real planet in opposed to a dwarf planet.
This newly discovered planet is even further from the sun than Pluto and is about 20 times further from the sun than Neptune. In other term’s, is about 600 times the distance from the sun to Earth, which is very far. The distance from the sun means that Planet Nine takes anywhere from 10,000 and 20,000 Earth years to make one full loop around the sun. Therefore, one Planet Nine year is about 20,000 Earth years with a year being the time it takes to go around the sun.
It’s so far away that it can’t be seen even with modern technology and was only recently found in space by researchers working for Caltech. These Caltech researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, made the new discovery after a year and a half long investigation on the distance of objects in space. By using mathematical modeling and by doing mathematical computer simulations of space, they were able to locate the planet in space.
The new discovery is creating quite a stir in the astronomical community and is set to be detailed in the latest issue of the Astronomical Journal. Some students have already heard about Planet Nine including Steifen Field who said, “It’s really far away (from Earth).” Its orbit helps put together the pieces of the puzzle which is our solar system. Using Planet Nine’s orbit and other objects in the proposed vicinity, researchers can calculate the existing planet’s location by looking at the other objects orbiting.
Mike Brown also found in a planet in our solar system in 2005 which at the time, would be the tenth planet called Eris which then led the discussion of plante definition. After such discussions, Eris was changed to a dwarf planet and so was Pluto. Now with the size of Planet Nine, we might again have a ninth planet in our solar system.
Even more recently, other scientist found water in ice form Pluto which could make Pluto more important to scientists. It seems that a lot of Pluto’s surface is covered with ice which NASA may research to see if it’s really water in opposed to methane.