Researchers are now pretty certain there’s a ninth planet in the solar system. The planet is roughly 10 times the mass of earth and has an atmosphere that is comprised of hydrogen and helium.
The researchers haven’t observed Planet X itself, but they believe it exists due to the unique configuration of six objects when they come closest to the sun. Given this, the scientists say that there’s only a 0.007 percent probability this configuration is down to chance. Due to this low probability they are confident it’s a ninth planet and they will observe the planet with a telescope within five years, according to The Associated Press.
Many scientists over the years have speculated that there could be a missing planet in our solar system. Some theorized that a collision with Jupiter caused the planet to be ejected out of our solar system over 4 billion years ago.
The discovery has bee highlighted by Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, two CalTech scientists who described their findings in The Astronomical Journal on Wednesday.
“Although we were initially quite skeptical that this planet could exist, as we continued to investigate its orbit and what it would mean for the outer solar system, we become increasingly convinced that it is out there,” Konstantin Batygin said, a CalTec scientist. “There is solid evidence that the solar system’s planetary census is incomplete.”
In 2005, Brown also make a key discovery that led to scientists re-classifying Pluto as a scarf planet. This new planet would have a mass over 5,000 times of Pluto! Brown made reference to this in a Twitter post (who’s Twitter handle is the apt @plutokiller)
“All those people who are mad that Pluto is no longer a planet can be thrilled to know that there is a real planet out there still to be found,” he said.