Planet Nine DOES exist - but it is too far away to see

Christopher Davidson
September 5, 2018

A huge planet which has never been seen by astronomers could be lurking, nearly invisibly, at the dark edges of our solar system, astronomers believe.

Planet Nine is a huge alien world roughly four times the size of Earth that continues to evade astronomers - but it's not the only space mystery that has experts baffled.

According to Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin, the mysterious planet would weigh between five and 20 Earth masses, while it would follow an elliptical orbit hundreds or even 1,000 times more distant from the Sun in comparison to the Earth's orbit.

But Nasa is optimistic because something out there is pushing a bunch of mini ice-worlds in its orbit. So, at about 1,000 AU, "Planet Nine" would be by 1 million times dimmer.

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The case for Planet Nine now focuses on the belief that something beyond Neptune that is causing the orbits of other space objects to be affected.

Surhud More, associate professor in Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo said, 'Every time we take a picture, there is this possibility that Planet Nine exists in the shot'. Accordingly, this unusual object would be by 160,000 times dimmer than Neptune is at 30 AU (astronomical unit - Earth-Sun distance). Physicists, for instance, think that Planet Nine, which is smaller and colder than the gias giants, would shine in the millimeter part of the spectrum between the microwaves and infrared light. Earth's most potent observatory now is the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

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This means that our millimeter telescopes in Antarctica and Chile might be able to pick up its glow if Planet Nine happens to cross their search field.

"There would be nowhere for Planet Nine to hide once this thing was turned on", he said. This highly potent instrument has a very wide field of view and is able to examine massive swaths of sky big enough to fit 4,000 full moons.

Sheppard is convinced that Planet Nine is out there.

There are also a number of other odd features in our solar system that would be explained by Planet Nine.

The efforts, however, do not guarantee the discovery of the planet as it could remain hidden amid the light pollution of the Milky Way.

Worse, the body could be in its orbit where it is beyond the 1,000-AU wall and it can take thousands of years before the planet would swing back around.

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