Home Uncategorized Solar System May Soon Have A Ninth Planet. Courtesy: An Advanced Telescope

Solar System May Soon Have A Ninth Planet. Courtesy: An Advanced Telescope

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Solar System May Soon Have A Ninth Planet. Courtesy: An Advanced Telescope

The Vera C Rubin Observatory in Chile

For almost a decade, astronomers have been searching the outer solar system, looking for signs of a ninth planet. Their search may soon come to an end, courtesy of a state-of-the-art telescope, which will begin scanning the sky next year.

The Vera C Rubin Observatory in Chile, which is set to open in 2025, may finally help scientists find Planet Nine within the next few years, experts told Live Science.

Over the past few years, astronomers have proposed that a ninth world, nicknamed “Planet Nine”, could be hiding in the far reaches of our cosmic neighbourhood.

Planet Nine is sometimes called Planet X. About Planet X, scientists believe it is a gas or ice giant billions of miles away from the rest of the planets.

With the help of the state-of-the-art telescope, Planet Nine could be found within the next two years, Mike Brown, an astronomer who proposed the Planet Nine hypothesis along with a colleague, told Live Science.

The size of a small car and weighing 2.8 metric tons, the sophisticated piece of equipment will reveal views of the cosmos as never before. 

The $800 million camera will snap its first photos beginning in early 2025 and the machine will sweep the sky every three days, allowing scientists to reach new heights in their galactic analyses.

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According to NASA, the composition of Planet X is like Neptune, but its mass could be 10 times that of Earth.

The US space agency also claimed that Planet X “may take between 10,000 and 20,000 Earth years” to complete an orbit around the sun.

This hypothetical Neptune-sized planet orbits the Sun in a highly elongated orbit far beyond Pluto, the report said.

Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said that the possibility of a new planet is an exciting one for science.

“This is not, however, the detection or discovery of a new planet. It’s too early to say with certainty there’s a so-called Planet X,” Mr Green said, adding it is an early prediction based on modelling from limited observations.

“It’s the start of a process that could lead to an exciting result,” he further said.

The solar system currently consists of eight planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Pluto was the ninth planet of the solar system before it was demoted from full planetary status to “dwarf planet” in 2006.



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