Will Planet 9! Be Making an Appearance Soon?

Planet Nine could soon be making an appearance according to astronomers’ latest information. The undiscovered planet is expected to be seen on Thursday through the use of the Subaru Telescope which sits on top of Mauna Kea Mountain, Hawaii. According to experts, the planet will be slowly moving through space near the constellation of Orion on Thursday. If they do manage to catch a glimpse of it, it will be one of the most monumental discoveries in the world of astronomy in over 100 years as we celebrate the addition of a new planet to our solar system.


Traditionally, there was said to be nine planets already, but around a decade ago Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet. Therefore, if astronomers do capture another planet, that will be the new Planet Nine. Scott Sheppard is an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C., and he says, “We’re looking for things that move, so we’re looking for anything that’s not a star of a galaxy.” Sheppard and team have been using telescopes to search for distant objects, and they’ve had several successes. Sheppard comments,”All of the objects are right on the edge of detection. They’re very faint.” But as of yet, they still haven’t seen any new planets.

Setting Sun shed red lights on the telescopes on Maunakea – left is the 8.2-m Subaru Telescope, the middle, and the right are the W. M. Keck Observatory’s 10-m telescopes. The Hyper Surpime-Cam on Subaru Telescope – with its unique wide-field capability – should help detect the distant world. Astronomers using the W. M. Keck Observatory can utilize its powerful laser guide-star Adaptive Optics System and its NIRC2 instrument to pinpoint, characterize and perhaps even determine whether the object has moons. (Credit: NAOJ)


The orbits of the new extreme trans-Neptunian objects 2014 SR349 and 2013 FT28 are shown in yellow. The known extreme objects are shown in green with the possible orbit of Planet X / Planet 9 shown in red. The Kuiper Belt is demonstrated by a cyan torus while the orbits of Neptune, Uranus and Saturn are shown in the dark blue interior to the Kuiper Belt. Though 2014 SR349 has a similar orbital alignment as the other known extreme objects in its longitude of perihelion shown here, 2013 FT28 does not. Source: http://home.dtm.ciw.edu/

In 2014, two Caltech astronomers also thought on the same line as Sheppard and devised a computer model that was able to confirm that there was another planet out there and was around ten times the size of Earth. But, with every bit of exciting news, there’s always skepticism, and astronomer David Jewitt at the University of California thinks we’re getting worked up about nothing. He says, “It’s relatively easy to explain anything that’s observed, in one way or another, using a model. There’s the natural tendency to jump on reports of ‘Hey, we’ve got a planet, we might have a planet.’ That’s something that people want to think about a lot.  It’s a very cool thing to think about. The answer to whether there’s another planet won’t come from models. It won’t come from theories. It will only come from observations.” So, what are you all waiting for, if you’re lucky enough to be in the right area, then check it out on Thursday and wait to be amazed.



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