SCIENCE

New Planet Found Is Very Close To Being Confirmed As 'Ninth Planet'

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Jan, 20, 2016, 08:01 PM
ninth planet
(Photo : Photo: R. Hurt, Caltech) Pluto used to be the solar system’s ninth planet, and scientists recently changed its status to an “exoplanet” (dwarf planet). A recent discovery has filled the void left by Pluto, and if this new planet is confirmed, it will become the solar system’s official ninth planet.

Pluto used to be the solar system's ninth planet, and scientists recently changed its status to an "exoplanet" (dwarf planet). A recent discovery has filled the void left by Pluto, and if this new planet is confirmed, it will become the solar system's official ninth planet.  

On Wednesday, scientists from France's Observatory of the Cote d'Azur verified a strange new planet 200 times farther from the sun than Earth, and 10 times bigger.

"This is the first serious claim for the existence of an additional planet in the solar system," said planetary scientist Alessandro Morbidelli, who was not involved in the study. Other scientists remain skeptical about the new world's status as the ninth planet, with researchers trying to prove their own efforts wrong.

"We tried hard ourselves to prove that we were wrong," said study co-author Mike Brown of Caltech. "We couldn't do it, but I hope people are sharpening their pencils right now."

The irony about the situation is that Brown is best known for disapproving of Pluto's status as the ninth planet. Recently, he admitted that "I DO believe that the solar system has nine planets," on his official Twitter account.

A confirmation of this strange planet as the solar system's ninth planet would help provide more information about the birth of our solar system.

"We are becoming more normal by finding this very strange planet out there," Brown said. "Just with this one extra planet, the solar system is much more like other planetary systems we've been finding in the galaxy."

For this new "ninth planet" to be confirmed, it will have to pass the criteria that Pluto failed. According to the International Astronomical Union, a planet has to clear the neighborhood around its orbital zone to be considered as an official planet of the solar system.

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