Planet 9 Is Theoretically There, But Seeing Is Believing, Astronomer Says

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<p><span style="color: #222222; font-family: Vaud, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)</span></p>
<p>This artistic rendering shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune.</p>
Planet 9 orbit with impacted space
The six most distant known objects in the Solar System with orbits exclusively beyond Neptune (magenta) all mysteriously line up in a single direction. Also, when viewed in three dimensions, they tilt nearly identically away from the plane of the Solar System. Research by scientists at Caltech shows that a planet with 10 times the mass of the Earth in a distant orbit (orange) is required to maintain this configuration.

The Solar System may have a 9th planet after all. Nine years after Pluto was demoted to dwarf status, scientists say they’ve found something much bigger -- and also much farther away.

So-called Planet 9 was predicted by complex computer models, but it has yet to be identified by eye, with telescopes. Astronomer Doug Duncan, the director of Boulder's Fiske Planetarium, spoke with Colorado Matters' Andrea Dukakis.

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