Scientists have discovered strong evidence that indicates that there may be a planet, ten times the size of Earth, lurking on the fringes of our solar system.
The mysterious universe is filled with questions and unknown energies that simple earthlings are yet to grasp. However, on what seems to be a weekly basis, researchers and scientists armed with the latest technological advancements continue to find new discoveries that give citizens of Earth a new understanding of their solar neighbourhood. The latest discovery spreading virally across the planet is the news that there may in fact be a hidden planet on the outer reaches of the solar system, that is ten times bigger than the Earth.
We're not exactly sure how a planet ten times larger than the earth could be overlooked for so long, but it's being called 'Planet Nine', 'Planet X' or 'Niburi' and appears to be similar to gas-based planets like Uranus and Neptune. Although it hasn't been seen or visually captured, researchers point to their recent findings using observations and computer modelling that indicates its presence. By examining a number of rocky bodies beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt, scientist noticed that these rocks had highly unusual orbits which would only make sense if they were influenced by the gravity of this massive planet.
Speculation places this new world around twenty times further from the sun than Neptune, estimating the distance around 2.8 billion miles away. Due to its distance, experts believe it could take up to 20,000 years for 'Planet Nine' to make a single journey around the sun.
According to California Institute of Technology Professor, Mike Brown, one of the researchers who announced the discovery in Astronomical Journal, he said, “There have only been two planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third,” adding, “This would be a real ninth planet.”
At first many of his colleagues were skeptical, however as they continued tracking the unusual orbits of Kuiper Belt rocks, a pattern emerged, which built a solid case for their claims. According to his Caltech colleague, Dr Konstantin Batygin, “For the first time in over 150 years, there is solid evidence that the solar system's planetary census is incomplete.”