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The Mysterious Planet 9

For several years, researchers around the world have been trying to find out the existence of a ninth planet within the Solar System. Until now, we only have eight qualified planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Pluto was kicked out of the rankings in 2006 and has been dubbed a ‘dwarf planet’. Apparently, the first calculations indicated that this ninth planet could be found 500 astronomical units (an astronomical unit, AU, is equivalent to traveling the distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is 150 million kilometers) from our star. but now a study has cast doubt on this theory. The so-called Planet 9 is very elusive to researchers, as it has not yet shown any clear evidence of its existence. The question is: if it really exists, why is it hiding and why can’t scientists see it?

A group of bodies in the Kuiper belt is the track that has raised some expectations. The Kuiper Belt is a ring of icy bodies located 50 AU from the Sun. Pluto is among those elements. If there were no planets beyond Neptune, these bodies would be arranged randomly, as is the case in much of this belt. However, there is a small group that would only be explained by the existence of a planet that attracted them. The force of gravity is what determines the presence of a body in space because it attracts different objects towards it. And it has been calculated that this planet must have a dimension 10 times greater than that of Earth. In 2016, scientists Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin published a study in which they observed the distribution of the elements that make up the Kuiper belt, and they were the ones who visualized the set of bodies and came to the conclusion that this grouping would have to be conditioned by the existence of a hitherto unidentified planet.

From that moment, different lines of investigation were launched to try to clarify this fascinating case, but none of them gave results. The researchers were divided between those who did not believe in its existence and those who did. Even in 2019 a study was published in which the possibility was raised that Planet 9 was not actually Planet 9 and was a giant black hole.

Now, Brown and Batygin have released a new trailer stating that “Planet Nine is closer and brighter than initially expected.” The fact that this mysterious star could be found closer to Earth could answer the question of why scientists have not been able to find it, and the reason would be simple: they have not looked. The experts expected it to be further away than it now seems to be. With this new discovery we could be closer than ever to solving the mystery that revolves around Planet 9.



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