“Planet 9” is an informal nickname for a predicted but undiscovered world that may exist in the outer solar system. It has also been called “Planet X” and, according to a New Yorker interview with astronomer Mike Brown, it has also been named “Jehosephat” and “George.” This yet unseen world does not have an official name.
Brown notes that the putative ninth planet-at 5,000 times the mass of Pluto-is sufficiently large that there should be no debate about whether it is a true planet. Unlike the class of smaller objects now known as dwarf planets, Planet Nine, gravitationally dominates its neighborhood of the solar system. In fact, it dominates a region larger than any of the other known planets- a fact that Brown says makes it “the most planet-y of the planets in the whole solar system.”
“Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there,” says Batygin, an assistant professor of planetary science. “For the first time in over 150 years, there is solid evidence that the solar system’s planetary census is incomplete.”
Our solar system could be unexpectedly destroyed when the sun dies, because of a mysterious planet hovering at its edge.
Until now, most scientists had assumed that many of our neighbours – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – would be able to survive the death of our star. They had predicted that the inflation of the Sun would swallow the Earth but would then become a white dwarf, pushing those planets to a safe distance.
But if there really is a Planet Nine hovering on the edge of our solar system then it could disrupt that happy ending, according to new research. That planet, which scientists increasingly believe exists, might not be pushed out to a distance and instead create a violent future for those planets that are still around.
NASA is funding a new program to bring together data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to create miniature movies. These loops look for objects that move across the sky compared to relatively stationary background stars.
NASA is turning to crowd sourcing rather than algorithms to find real objects that might have been missed the first time around because they were marked as instrument errors.
Although it’s proposed as a way to find Planet Nine, the Backyard Worlds program may also help find asteroids near Earth, faint dwarf planets in the outskirts of the solar system, and failed stars within a few dozen light years of us, all of which appear faint to the naked eye but will still give off heat in infrared.
Facts about the unconfirmed planet 9 :-
- Similar in size to Neptune.
- Blue in colour.
- Up to one thousand times farther from the sun than earth.
- Orbits the sun about once every 15000 years.