Caltech Scientists Detect Gaseous Giant’s Orbit
THE SANTA CLARA
January 21, 2016
Our solar system may have a ninth planet after all.
This one is 5,000 times bigger than Pluto and billions of miles farther away, said scientists who presented “good evidence” for a long-hypothesized Planet X on Wednesday.
The gas giant is thought to be almost as big as Neptune, quite possibly with rings and moons. It’s so distant that it would take a mind-blowing 10,000 to 20,000 years to circle the sun.
Planet Nine, as the pair of California Institute of Technology researchers calls it, hasn’t been spotted yet.
They base their prediction on mathematical and computer modeling, and anticipate its discovery via telescope within five years or less.
The scientists reported their research Wednesday in the Astronomical Journal because they want people to help them look for it.
“We could have stayed quiet and quietly spent the next five years searching the skies ourselves and hoping to find it. But I would rather somebody find it sooner, than me find it later,” astronomer Mike Brown told The Associated Press.
“I want to see it. I want to see what it looks like. I want to understand where it is, and I think this will help,” he added.
Once it’s detected, Brown insists there will be no Pluto-style planetary debate.
“This is what we mean when we say the word ‘planet,’ “ Brown said.
From AP Reports.