by Maria Sofou
Believe it or not, researchers are quite certain that there is a ninth planet in our solar system!
According to the Huffington Post, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, two CalTech scientists, say the new planet is about 10 times the mass of Earth and has an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. The researchers have found evidence of the giant object, nicknamed Planet Nine, tracing an orbit about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). The planet’s existence was discovered through mathematical modelling and computer simulation and has not yet been observed directly – however, the scientists believe that they will observe it with a telescope within 5 years.
“Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there,” Batygin explained in a statement. “There is solid evidence that the solar system’s planetary census is incomplete.”