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The Ninth Planet. The final frontier.

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There is a new planet orbiting around the outer part of our solar system and scientists are referring to it as “the hypothetical Ninth Planet.”  

“The potential exists for this new planet,” said Kevin Knuth, a physics professor at the University at Albany and a former NASA research scientist.  “It [Planet Nine] is potentially real and very exciting.”

The Ninth Planet is equal to five masses of Earth, according to researcher and astronomer James Tuttle Keane of Caltech.

“We call these types of planets ‘Super Earths,’” said Knuth.  

In 2014, astronomers Konstanin Batygin and Mike Brown discovered a large Super Earth shape in the Kuiper Belt, otherwise known as Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO), according to Extreme Tech’s Ryan Whitwam.

In 2016, Batygin and Brown predicted this new “ghost” planet based on mathematical theories.

“The evidence has been mounting and the scientists are reanalyzing the data,” said Knuth.  “The simulations results are that a planet exists, altogether making it [this discovery] exciting.  A new planet in the solar system is here.”

There have been speculations on whether or not there is life on Planet Nine.  

“I would be surprised if there was life,” said Knuth.  “It is further away from the sun. It has very cold climates.”

Scientists are rushing to find out more about Planet Nine.

“People will look for it and it will be discovered within the next five to ten years,” said Knuth.

Fittingly, another name for Planet Nine is Planet X, an appropriate nickname because scientists are hunting for “X marks the spot” like it is a piece of treasure. Because it is.  There is a reward for the scientist who discovers this new planet: naming it.

“Most of the planets are named after Roman Gods,” said Knuth. “Planet X will not last for long.”

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