The mysterious Planet Nine is somewhere out there in the space, billions of miles away from Earth, between the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud. The theory about Planet Nine was proposed in 2016 by Michael Brown, Astronomy Professor at the California Institute of Technology. Since then, Brown and his colleague Konstantin Batygin have dedicated their lives to pinpoint the location of the mysterious planet and using the Subaru Telescope Mauna Kea Observatory from Hawaii at night.
However, it seems to be a problem with pinpointing the object, because it is far away from Earth, we are talking about 600 times as far as the Sun. Dr. Brown explains that being so far away, it’s the most faded object to spot with the telescopes that exist. So they spend a lot of time using the few telescopes they have and hoping that maybe it will be seen.
But how could they locate Planet Nine?
The team of researchers is taking snapshots pictures every night and compares them to see if they can find any difference between the photos. The idea is simple: all the stars and galaxies are snapped on one night, and they remain in the same position in the second photograph from the next night. If something is moving in our solar system, it will be seen on the photos and could reveal its location. Unfortunately, Dr. Brown knows that the possibility of seeing Planet Nine moving is low because it’s so far away from the Earth.
More Facts About Planet Nine
It is believed that Planet Nine could be bigger than Earth, maybe five to ten times the size of our planet. Another fact about the mysterious planet is that because of its presence beyond Kuiper Belt, many objects in the asteroid belt tend to group. Other theories are proposing that Planet Nine is a louse world from another system caught in the gravity of our own.
Finally, NASA declares that the existence of Planet Nine is only theoretical at this point and no other observations have been made.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca