There has been a lot of debate regarding Planet Nine, as many astronomers are confident that it must be there, somewhere, in the Solar System. However, other astronomers such as Jim Bridenstine, the former NASA administrator, even believe that Pluto should be considered the ninth planet from our Solar System. But that’s not a very relevant standpoint, at least for now.
According to BGR.com, the British astronomer Michael Rowan-Robinson, who’s also an Emeritus professor of astrophysics at Imperial College London, is confident in the chances that data gathered by a telescope decades ago could indicate the existence of the ninth planet from the Solar System.
Let’s be thankful for the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS)
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) launched almost four decades ago – in 1983. Historical observations made by the telescope were enough for relevant data to be gathered.
Rowan-Robinson paid attention to the observation gathered, and especially towards the space objects that moved in a slow rhythm. Thus, he was able to rule out objects such as comets or asteroids, meaning space bodies that are known for moving fast. In the end, the observations suggest the presence of a ninth planet in our Solar System, one that’s incredibly far away: 225 AU.
However, it would be a little too early to open the champagne just yet. Here’s what the planetary scientist Mike Brown has to say, as quoted by BGR.com:
The candidate is on an orbit utterly inconsistent with our predictions for Planet Nine, and would not be capable of gravitationally perturbing the distant solar system in the ways that we have suggested. But, of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real,
“It just means that it would be a serendipitous discovery of something while searching for Planet Nine. Pluto happened the same way. Tombaugh was searching for Lowell’s Planet X (which didn’t exist) and accidentally found Pluto. Pluto was not the predicted Planet X.
Also, Rowan-Robinson admitted that the observations lack some significant quality.