First theories were based on the alleged gravitational influence of “Planet 9”, which was believed to have a strong effect on nearby objects. But there was no evidence that the planet existed. New research suggests that the “ninth” planet in the solar system is closer and easier to observe than previously thought.
Nobody could have predicted that a Pluto replacement would be found in the 15 years since Pluto was declassified from planethood in August 2006 and made a dwarf planet. Astronomers have found preliminary evidence that there is a ninth planet in the solar system.
The latest study was conducted by Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin of California Institute of Technology. The Astronomical Journal has accepted it for publication.
In an interview with National Geographic, Brown stated that Planet 9 was only a few years away.
Michael Brown was the man who led the controversial effort to make Pluto the ninth planet in our solar system and one of the many dwarf planets.
It was previously thought that Planet 9 would take 18,500 years to orbit the Sun. This new discovery lowers the estimated time to 7,400 years. It means that the planet is much closer to Earth and the Sun than previously believed.
The scientists calculated gravitational effects and discovered that the mysterious planet could be six times larger than Earth. However, it is not clear if the planet has rocky material like Earth or heavy dense gases such as Neptune.
If the planet is true, it will change our view of the solar system. It will reduce the number of planets from nine to nine, without Pluto. Neptune was the final planet added to the solar system’s roster of planets in 1846. It was discovered by Uranus’ gravitational force.
Brown claims that a closer orbit would make Planet 9 more visible and easier to see, but their calculations show it is actually a little smaller, at approximately six times the Earth’s mass, instead of up to twenty times.
Brown stated, “By virtue it being closer, even though it’s less massive, it is a lot brighter than we initially anticipated.”
“So, I’m excited about this being able to help us find that much faster.”