A newly discovered object of the solar system suggests on the hidden planet nine



Getty Images Mark Garlick / Science Photo Library

There may be a large planet lurking somewhere on the edge of our solar system, and astronomers are looking for it. While they have not yet found direct evidence of the planet, a recent discovery provides even more indirect evidence that the planet, in fact, exists. The astronomers found a small body of the solar system with a strange orbit that they say can only be explained by another larger planet that is hiding somewhere.

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Astronomers have speculated for a few years that a ninth planet may be orbiting the Sun at a great distance, and has spent the last few years looking for it. First they started the hunt in 2016 after looking at a handful of objects distant from the solar system and noticing something strange. These objects, all orbiting beyond Pluto, had something similar in common: they orbited the Sun at an angle different from all the inner planets.

Observations suggest that the gravitational influence of another planet is altering the orbits of distant objects. Now additional findings of a planetary object recently discovered with a strange orbit, called 2015 BP519, support the case of a Planet Nine undiscovered. 2015 BP519 orbits at an angle of 54 degrees compared to almost everything in the inner solar system, and the theory is that Planet Nine is responsible.

If Planet Nine exists, it's probably only a matter of time before astronomers find it. However, it would be difficult, because it is estimated that the orbit is far away. Planet Nine is probably several times farther away than Pluto, which means it's barely a point even in our most powerful telescopes, and it's dark. The difficulty is compounded by the complication that we do not know exactly where it is supposed to be.

Still, if it's out there, we'll find it eventually.

Source: Quanta

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