Move Over Pluto – Planet 9 is Here!

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Nathan Shube, Editor and Chief

It’s been all over the news the last couple of days! A pair of scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin,  are reporting that they have found evidence of a ninth planet in our solar system, one that is reported to be ten times larger than Earth.  According to ABC News, the planet is roughly the size of Neptune but much farther away from the sun, so far away in fact that it takes this planet 10,000-20,000 to orbit the sun.


Although the planet has not yet been visually seen, computer and mathematical models have provided enough evidence for these Cal Tech scientist to move ahead with their assertion.  They suggest that there could be visual confirmation of this Planet X through telescopes in the next several years.


Of course, this raises the question of whether or not this new Planet X might face the same fate as Pluto. You may remember that Pluto was once considered the ninth planet. Again according to ABC News, Mike Brown was ironically one of the scientist responsible for degrading Pluto’s status from planet to dwarf planet. This “Pluto killer” says Planet X will not face such a demise. Its size and gravitation pull would prevent it from facing such a demotion. Jenny Nagel (12) laments “I’m not sure it’s fair to Pluto that this new planet is taken his spotlight. Pluto’s the real 9th planet. Go Pluto”


Interestingly enough, the evidence for the planet was noted in Pluto’s neighborhood where six objects, including a large minor planet, appear to be effected by the gravitational pull of something large, presumably the 9th planet. The egg-shaped nature of the of the planet’s orbit means that it could be spotted by a space telescope, but depending on the planet’s proximity to the Earth, it may also be spotted by backyard telescopes. So dust off those telescopes you got for Christmas when you were a kid. You could make history by being the first person to observe the 9th planet!