Pieces of evidence are yet to be confirmed, but it’s looking like there is an undiscovered planet, planet 9, orbiting beyond the Kuiper Belt. Even if it is there, it’s far, big, and slow. The presence of such a planet will possibly explain the unique clustering of Kuiper Belt Objects that is vertiginous to the solar system’s plane.
The possible ninth planet described in the paper by Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown provides an evidential explanation for how such a distant planet could faze the Kuiper belt object orbits into their present sizes, shapes, and orientations. The two scientists have published academic papers presenting evidence of a sizeable undiscovered planet beyond Neptune and Pluto.
Based on the new model presented by Batygin and Brown and Fred Adams and Juliette Becker of the University of Michigan, the hypothesized planet will have a mass of about five times that of the earth. It will have a semimajor orbital axis in the neighborhood of 400 astronomical units (AU), which will make it smaller and closer to the sun than previously suspected and even potentially brighter, taking more than 10,000 years to orbit the Sun.
A lurking, distant planet 9 is not a new idea, but theorists were still searching for a head start over how an undiscovered planet could cause the arguments of the perihelion of distant, detached objects to line up. The evidence presented in the paper makes a precise prophecy about outer space where there should be the other smaller worlds that will help guide future surveys.
The recent paper offers new details and evidence about the suspected nature and location of the undiscovered planet, which has been the subject of intense international research ever since Batygin and Brown’s 2016 announcement.