An astronomers team, led by Professor Michael Brown of Caltech and his colleague Konstantin Batygin, is examining the night sky using the Subaru Telescope Mauna Kea Observatory, in Hawaii. What they are hoping to find is any sighting of Planet Nine, believed to be hiding somewhere between the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.
Slow Progress In Detecting Planet Nine
By now, the process used to pinpoint Planet Nine has proven to be incredibly difficult, as the planet is extremely far away from Earth, so its movement can hardly be observed. As powerful as they are, the telescopes used can barely keep up.
Researchers are photographing the night sky every night, so they will be able to compare the pictures and find even the slightest difference. Any spotted movement in our solar system could lead to the discovery of Planet Nine’s location.
Astronomers suspect that the planet is almost ten times larger than Earth.
Dr. Brown hopes that, as soon as they can come up with an approximate location of the planet, other more capable telescopes, such as the Hubble, could be used to observe it.
NASA’s Point of View
NASA stated that Planet Nine’s existence is theoretical for now, and it will remain this way until proven otherwise.
The space agency will not further any investigation upon the hypothetical presence of another planet in our solar system, at least not before Dr. Brown’s team presents solid proof.
Is There Something Else In Our Solar System?
Some scientists are doubtful about Planet Nine. They believe that a planet of such dimensions could not have avoided being detected for so long, so they concluded it must not exist.
Attempting to find explanations for the formation of clusters in the Kuiper Belt, skeptics proposed the theory that the cause for this phenomenon is the gravity of a multitude of smaller objects.
At this point, Planet Nine remains just a fascinating hypothesis. When, or if, Dr. Brown’s team will find proof of its existence, we will be extremely excited to hear all about it.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.