Scientists have found a new planet in our solar system?

Various Planets // Sci-Fi image

There’s been an astonishing breakthrough in the science community, as well as the general public recently. I got several texts of the same article. At that point, I finally decided to have a proper read through of the text itself and see what all the constant messaging was about. It wasn’t just about another planet somewhere in the universe. It was about a newly discovered planet in OUR solar system. What?!

Planet X is what Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown are calling the mysterious new planet. These two Cal Tech scientists have yet to see the body almost the size of our lovely Neptune, but they claim that it exists. Here’s how:

4.5 billion years ago, Planet X was pushed away from the location in which planets form, and has made its way into an elliptical orbit. Although it isn’t something that we can just see through a really expensive telescope, Brown and Batygin say it orbits the sun every 15,000 years. Don’t hold your breath!

On top of that, Planet X is nowhere near the sun. In fact, it’s 200 astronomical units away. (And for you science geeks, 0.000969627 parsecs. Hey! I like using parsecs, okay?) Being the planet it is, it could end up anywhere near about 1200 astronomical units away. Way past the Kuiper belt, 30 AU’s or 0.000145444 parsecs away from good ol’ Earth.

Kuiper Belt // Planet X

“Until there’s a direct detection, it’s a hypothesis—even a potentially very good hypothesis,” Brown told ScienceMag. Unfortunately, seeing is believing for most people and until astronomers actually have visual knowledge of the planet, it’s merely just a theory.

What do you think? Do you think Planet X will remain a hypothesis, or is there a Neptune-sized planet somewhere out there, lurking about our solar system? For me, I think I’m going to go with the second option.

“I could not imagine a bigger deal if—and of course that’s a boldface ‘if’—if it turns out to be right. What’s thrilling about it is that it is detectable,” Gregory Laughlin (UC Santa Cruz) also told Science Mag.

For more information about Planet X, check out the some of these websites (1, 2, 3), as well as the source.

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