In January, the Swiss astrophysicists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown shared evidence of a new planet that just showed up, which is about four times bigger than the Earth and over five hundred times further from the sun.

This so-called “Planet Nine” (or Planet X) that wasn’t spotted until now, it’s said to have an iron core surrounded by a silicate mantle. Above this mantle, there is a theory that it has an “icy” layer surrounded with hydrogen/helium.

Planet Nine’s theoretical orbit (orange) is shown in relation to the orbits of five known objects in purple, as well as the predicted orbits of other objects in blue. CALTECH/R. HURT (IPAC)

This isn’t the first time astronomers speculated about a distant world beyond the Kuiper Belt, where they have been searching for decades, but as stated by Brown “anytime anything funny happens outer the solar system, somebody will jump up and down and say planet”.

This time, it was their time to shout it out, where the evidence is growing stronger than before where the first hint was from about 2003, where Brown spotted a 966-km wide object circling the Sun on a highly elliptical path, really far beyond the outer limit of Kuiper Belt.

What’s colder than Being Cold?

The researchers also created a model of the Planet Nine that was based on the assumptions that are a smaller version of Neptune and Uranus, yet it’s a significantly bigger version of the Earth to the equivalent of about 10 times Earth’s mass; the temperature on this “ice-cold” planet might be of about 47° Kelvin, that it’s about -226 °C.

One of the most coldest and distant known objects that were orbiting the Sun was Sedna, which was named after the Inuit goddess of the sea. Then back in 2014, the astronomers Chad Trujillo and Scott Sheppard discovered a Sedna-ish object followed by a set of another six Kuiper Belt objects with an unusual orbital feature.

Esther Linder, a Ph.D. student at the University of Bern who typically investigates about the formation of young exoplanets, said that the Planet Nine is a close object, although it is about 700 miles further away as the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

But how could such a is huge planet being unseen? Is really the Planet Nine a planet? Nobody knows yet, not even the NASA can affirm to us if it is true that the referred Planet X is a planet or not, but thanks to technology these days, the “under construction” Large Synoptic Survey Telescope near from Cerro Tololo, Chile, might be capable of finding the Planet Nine without any problems at all.

Source: Gizmodo Australia