Early this year, researchers from Caltech announced that there may be another planet beyond Pluto. They have named this planet “Planet X” or “Planet Nine.” These researchers claim that outer objects in our solar system have very odd orbits, and this may be from the gravitational pull of this planet. When announced, it was no surprise that many people took to the possibility of there being another planet that we didn’t even know about, while some still have their doubts.
Two astronomers from the California Institute of Technology started research in January of 2015 that tried to show why the orbits of the most distant known objects in our solar system are so elongated and in one direction. They theorized that there was another object that had an orbit in the other direction that pulled the others in the way the are. Earth orbits completely around the sun in one year. Jupiter takes about 12 years to orbit the sun. “Planet X” is theorized to take 20 000 Earth years to orbit the sun, and it is expected to reach Earth in the next few years. But don’t get too excited, says NASA’s planetary science division’s director, “This is not, however, the detection or discovery of a new planet. It’s too early to say with certainty there’s a so-called ‘Planet X’. What we’re seeing is an early prediction based on modeling from limited observations.” And while there are some that doubt this planet’s existence, and some that believe without a doubt that it is out there, conspiracy theorists have jumped right on the subject.
Conspiracy theorists come up with some very interesting, and sometimes, very believable explanations beyond what we are told, and whether you believe them or not, they are still fun to hear. This particular situation was an easy picking for these theorists. They claim that “Planet X” will collide with Earth in the next month. However, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence against this. Firstly, it would be very visible in the night sky. So far, no telescope has picked up any sight of this mysterious planet. Even if the planet is headed towards us, there is an enormous chance that it won’t hit Earth. Then again, there is a possibility that this planet doesn’t even exist.
All skepticism aside, the possibility of a planet hiding in the outer reaches of our solar system is enthralling. We will most likely gain more and more knowledge every day, and maybe one day, we will see it in our horizons.
Image Source: California Institute of Technology