Baku, January 21, AZERTAC
Scientists have found evidence of a ninth planet in the solar system which is travelling on a bizarre elongated orbit, BBC said.
The body, which has been dubbed 'Planet Nine' is 10 times the mass of Earth and takes between 10,000 and 20,000 years to orbit the Sun. It is so big that researchers have branded it 'the most planety planet of the solar system.'
It was found by researchers at the California Institute of Technology who were puzzled as to why 13 objects in the Kuiper Belt – an area beyond Pluto – were all moving together as if being 'lassooed' by the gravity of a huge object.
After running computer simulations to see what was having an effect they found that only a massive planet could be causing the strange movement.
The Astronomer Royal Prof Sir Martin Rees said that telescopes should be able to see the planet.
"If it exists, it should be detectable," said Prof Rees. "So we must wait until searches with big telescopes have been carried out.
"These are indirect arguments, but they should motivate a more intensive search for an inferred far-away planet."
Researcher Dr Mike Brown who discovered evidence for the planet with Dr Konstantin Batygin said that it is so large that there should be no debate about whether it is a true planet.
Unlike the class of smaller objects now known as dwarf planets, Planet Nine gravitationally dominates its neighborhood of the solar system – one of the key tests for planet classification.
Pluto used to be regarded as the ninth planet but was downgraded in 2006 to a dwarf-planet or 'plutoid' and is now known unceremoniously as 'asteroid number 134340.'
In fact, it dominates a region larger than any of the other known planets--a fact that Brown says makes it "the most planet-y of the planets in the whole solar system."