Our solar system may contain 10, 11 or more planets, predicted scientists on the basis of new computer models. The models contain data that led to the discovery of Planet Nine.
In January predicted astronomers Professor Konstantin Batygin and Professor Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology, the existence of a ninth planet after they discovered 13 objects in the Kuiper Belt as a kind of sheep were driven together by a massive object.
Scientists from Cambridge University and Spanish researchers have now discovered that the objects may be affected by more than one distant planet. Sverre Aarseth from Cambridge and astronomers Carlos and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos suspect Planet Nine is not alone.
More than Planet 10
“We believe that, in addition to a Planet Nine, there could also be a Planet 10, and even more,” said Carlos de la Fuente Marcos. The study is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Researcher Alexander Mustill of Lund University in Sweden said that the new planet comes possibly from outside the solar system, and therefore it could be an exoplanet. He thinks our sun has stolen this planet 4.5 billion years ago from a neighboring star.
Scientists suspect that Planet Nine is 10 times as massive as Earth and between 10,000 and 20,000 years doing a trip around the sun. Astronomers are eagerly looking for the planet, which would be very big and could only be spotted with the largest telescopes.
Pluto was originally labeled as the ninth planet, but was demoted in 2006 to an ordinary dwarf planet.