The Search for Planet Nine and an Announcement | Summary and Q&A

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August 13, 2018
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John Michael Godier
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The Search for Planet Nine and an Announcement

TL;DR

Astronomers are searching for an unseen ninth planet in our solar system, which may be responsible for disrupting comets and causing mass extinctions. This planet, referred to as Planet X, could be native to our system or may have been captured from another star system.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the evidence for the existence of Planet X?

The similarities in the orbits of some outer solar system objects, including the dwarf planet Sedna, suggest the existence of an unseen planet influencing their motions.

Q: What could explain the observed orbital anomalies of outer solar system objects?

One possibility is that Planet X is a massive planet that was flung out by Jupiter early in the solar system's history. It could also be a planet that formed distantly from the Sun and was disturbed into an irregular orbit by a passing star.

Q: Could Planet X be an alien planet from another star system?

It is possible that Planet X is not native to our solar system and represents a planet that we captured from another star system. Alternatively, it could be a passing rogue planet ejected from another star system that was captured by our own.

Q: Are there any recent discoveries supporting the existence of Planet X?

The discovery of an object known as 2015b P 5:19 further strengthens the idea of a planet in the outer solar system that shepherds objects with its gravitational effects. This discovery aligns with predictions made by astronomers.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The existence of an unseen ninth planet in our solar system, referred to as Planet X, has gained credibility due to similarities in the orbits of some outer solar system objects.

  • This planet would need to be about ten times more massive than Earth to explain the observed orbital anomalies of these objects.

  • Possible explanations for Planet X include it being the core of a primordial planet, a planet disturbed into an irregular orbit by a passing star, or a captured planet from another star system.

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