Planet X or Planet 9 was a good news for all the nostalgic astronomy enthusiasts out there who wanted our solar system to have 9 planets, again. But it seems that their happiness was short lived as NASA is skeptical about planet 9 and urges people to wait for more scientific proof before celebrating the new addition and researching old Roman gods names.
News of the discovery of a new planet started popping put on the 20th of January when two Australian astronomers published a paper in which they recognized the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system, Planet 9.
The researchers were analyzing the icy bodies and debris in the space beyond Neptune, the Kuiper Belt. This is a very icy region of space, but it is also the home of Pluto, our former ninth planet from the Sun.
While studying images from the Kuiper Belt, the two astronomers realized that a great number of icy bodies and debris are behaving strangely. They seemed like they were attracted by a larger object.
The researchers then gathered more data and fed it to a computer simulation. The simulation predicted that the strange movement of the bodies and the debris could only be explained by a gravitational pull caused by a planet. This led the astronomers to hastily publish their work and deem their new discovery Planet 9, or Planet X.
But NASA is skeptical about Planet 9 and urges the people to postpone celebrations until additional scientific evidence is presented. According to the NASA representative, the research only lacks photographs that will attest the existence of the planet.
In order to get those photographs, the only thing that the Australian scientists have to do is point a large telescope in the direction in which the planet is theorized to be and wait a couple of months until the planets’ rotation will allow the telescope the take a picture of the controversial celestial body.
If Planet 9 exists, it should be approximatively 20 times further from our Sun that the frozen planet Neptune is. That means it would take millions of years for it to complete a rotation around the Sun.
Jim Green, planetary sciences director at NASA, is the star of a video released by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency. In the video, Green explains that, while he himself as a planetary sciences director would be thrilled to learn of the discovery of a new planet, NASA is skeptical about Planet 9 and additional research is needed before Planet 9 becomes more than just a theory.
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