It’s known fact that everyone was bummed over Pluto’s downgrade from a regular planet to a dwarf one. It was a seemingly universal constant- what goes up must come down, sequels are never as good as the originals, and we had nine planets in our solar system. When we found that we had, infact, less than nine, everyone was in an uproar. It’s been almost ten years since our smallest friend was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet and people are still bitter about it. It was even the focus of an episode of the Disney Channel show Girl Meets World, even though the character on the show would’ve been about five when Pluto’s status changed. The term “Vive la Pluto” has been popularized among social media websites like Tumblr and Twitter, and it seems that no one wants to let go of our ninth friend.
It looks like our pleas have been answered. But not by reinstating Pluto. Instead, researchers at Caltech think they’ve found another planet in our solar system altogether.
This Planet was nicknamed Planet X, then Planet Nine, and the reasoning behind the theory of this planet is that this additional planet would explain some of the recent odd orbits observed. This planet has been observed through mathematical modelling and computer simulations, but is yet to have been directly observed.
This planet has a mass 10 times Earth’s, and 20 times the orbit of Neptune. It would take anywhere between 10 000 years and 20 000 years for this planet to take a single trip around the sun. There’s not a chancee someone could consider making it a dwarf planet: it is 5 00o times the size of Pluto. Besides, unlike dwarf planets, Planet Nine gravitationally dominates its area- infact, it’s region is larger than any of the other known Planets.
Interestingly enough, this discovery is partially credited to Mike Brown, or his better known title: Pluto Killer. That’s right, the man who’s showing us a whole new planet was also the one who took one away. He even laughs about it himself, saying that he never thought there’d be ninth planet. He’s not regretful for killing off the smallest of the family, but excited to inagurate something new. He estimates that Planet Nine will be officially discovered sometime within the next five years.
However, that isn’t quite definite. Infact, Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science, has warned us all not to get out hopes up. This isn’t even the first time a ninth planet has been ‘discovered’.