Science News

Planet Nine: Enigmatic world may have been seen by telescope in the 1980s

There is an ongoing debate about whether a huge “super-Earth” lurks in the far reaches of our solar system – but we may actually have observed it almost 40 years ago



Space



15 November 2021

A map centred on location of the Planet 9 candidate

A map centred on the location of the Planet Nine candidate (red & green)

Schlegel, Finkbeiner and Davis (1998)

Evidence for a massive planet in the outer solar system has been found, which may be the elusive Planet Nine that astronomers have long sought.

Planet Nine is a hypothesised world orbiting far beyond Neptune, in our solar system’s outer reaches. The gravitational clustering of some objects in the outer solar system suggests the presence of such a world, a super-Earth at least five times as massive as our planet, but no concrete evidence for it …

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