There’s a lot of fuss in the astronomic community regarding the hypothetical Planet Nine present in our Solar System. We have to mention right from the start that it’s not Pluto – the object from the edges of our Solar System lost that title fifteen years ago, as it’s currently being considered only a dwarf planet.
Astronomers suspect that there’s a ninth planet in our Solar System since roughly five years ago. The close clustering of objects from the Kuiper Belt is one of the reasons why astronomers began theorizing the existence of another planet in our Solar System. A new study done by Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown brings a new perspective regarding the hypothetical Planet Nine, according to National Geographic.
Planet Nine is brighter and closer than previously thought, if it exists
The new study claims that Planet Nine should be closer to Earth and brighter than astronomers thought. However, the mere existence of the planet is still purely theoretical.
The new study implies that Planet Nine should be roughly six times more massive than our planet, and it completes a full orbit around the Sun in 7,400 Earth years. Although it sounds like an eternity, the number is still a lot less than the 18,500 years that astronomers initially thought the planet needs to revolve around our star one time.
Our Solar System officially has eight planets. Earth is the third planet from the Sun, after Mercury and Venus. Mars is the fourth planet, followed by Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Although our planet is the only one known by astronomers to host life, Mars is also a potential candidate, at least when it comes to hosting microbial life sometime in the past.
The new study has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.