Astronomers Find Theoretical Evidence for Distant Gas Giant Planet in Our Solar System

Artistic rendering shows the distant view from theoretical Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Hypothetical lightning lights up the night side.  Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

The astronomer known worldwide for vigorously promoting the demotion of Pluto from its decades long perch as the 9th Planet, has now found theoretical evidence for a new and very distant gas giant planet lurking at the far reaches of our solar system.In a obvious reference to the planethood controversy, the proposed new planet is nicknamed ‘Planet Nine’ and its absolutely huge! The planet has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and is believed to gaseous, like Uranus and Neptune, according to Mike Brown of Caltech, who became famous during the debate of Pluto’s planetary status, and announced the new finding today, Jan. 20, along with fellow Caltech researcher Konstantin Batygin.The giant new planet orbits the sun some 20 times farther out than Neptune in the distant reaches of the Kuiper Belt. Neptune orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles.Astronomers have been searching for decades for “Planet X” a large theorized planet beyond Pluto.The theorized ‘Planet Nine’ travels in a highly elongated path that takes between 10,000 and 20,000 years to complete just one full orbit around the sun, according to Caltech statement describing the work.Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin coauthored a paper describing their work on the discovery of the existence of the proposed gas giant in the current issue of the Astronomical Journal.The paper is titled; “EVIDENCE FOR A DISTANT GIANT PLANET IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM” and is available here.”This would be a real ninth planet,” says Brown, the Richard and Barbara Rosenberg Professor of Planetary Astronomy, in a statement.”There have only been two true planets discovered since ancient times, and this would be a third. It’s a pretty substantial chunk of our solar system that’s still out there to be found, which is pretty exciting.”So far there is no —> Read More