New Study on Ninth Planet
Part of: Prelims and GS III – Awareness in space
Context: In the continued search for the hypothetical ninth planet in our Solar System, Michael Brown, the astronomer who led the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet in 2006, has co-written a new study that claims to have narrowed the region the potential new planet could be located.
- The study proposes “Planet Nine” exists beyond Neptune and is six times the mass of Earth.
- The new study also includes a “treasure map” of the planet’s likely orbit that the scientists said lasts around 7,400 Earth years and is closer to the Sun than the 2016 study found.
- A closer orbit to the Sun would make the planet brighter and easier to see.
- Planet Nine would probably be a cold gas giant like Neptune, the farthest known planet in a Solar System from the Sun.
- Neptune has a nonsolid surface made up mostly of hydrogen, helium, and methane, according to NASA.