Planet Past Pluto?

Orbits_1280_PlanetX2

In the image above, the red oval represents the suggested path of an elusive planet called Planet X. Astronomers have been observing the orbits of objects in our Solar System and have decided there’s a strong possibility a ninth planet, almost the size of Neptune, is orbiting our Sun. Although Planet X has yet to be detected with any telescope, astronomers believe its orbit interacts with the orbits of other icy objects in the far reaches of our Solar System. In fact, there is only a 1 in 15,000 chance that the orbits of these icy objects would line up the way they do without the existence of a ninth planet. Planet X would be orbiting anywhere from 600 to 1,200 AU in its very elliptical orbit, and would take about 15,000 years to make one trip around the Sun. Astronomers are working on detecting Planet X with the help of the Keck and Subaru telescopes in Hawaii and are confident they will be able to detect it within the next five years or so.

 

SCIENCE Article

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4 thoughts on “Planet Past Pluto?

  1. With all of the information that we have available about our solar system, it’s crazy that a world as large as Planet X could exist without us being able to find it! It’ll be interesting to see what the planet is like once it is found. The most accurate prediction I can think of with my limited knowledge is that it can’t have a magnetic field unless it is almost completely made of water due to its incredibly slow orbit and lack of substantial size in relation to its distance from the sun. In fact, I feel like it has to be a boring combination of ice and rock unless there is a really interesting relationship with potential moons or other celestial bodies that allow it to generate some heat.

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  2. It’s exciting to think that we could have another planet added to our solar system in our lifetime. If scientists are correct and Planet X exists and is near the size of Neptune, we could once again have nine planets. It’s curious that while the “classical” eight planets have similar orbits, this Planet X would have a very elliptical orbit way larger than any other planet’s orbit. I wonder if they discover it, will the change it’s name or will it remain Planet X? What effect does Planet X’s elliptical orbit have on its composition and structure? It will be very exciting to find out.

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  3. I feel bad for this “Planet X”. Finding this planet is like the biggest game of “hide and seek”. I know what it’s like to be on that side of hide and seek because one time I was playing hide and seek and I hid in a tree trunk and put leaves over my head so no one would see me. I waited for like 30 minutes and had to reveal myself. My friends said they were still looking but I think they just forgot about me. Anyways, the thought of having another planet is exciting. If it exists, I can’t wait to see what “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos” will turn into when they name the planet. Hopefully the tragedy that happened to Pluto will not be repeated.

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