It Seems Likely Solar System Is Hiding Huge Planet
NASA unveils new evidence for mysterious 'Planet Nine'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2017 3:00 PM CDT
This artistic rendering provided by California Institute of Technology shows the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun.   (R. Hurt/Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/Courtesy of California Institute of Technology via AP)

(Newser) – Astronomically inclined conspiracy theorists have long been predicting the Earth's demise in a collision with a rogue planet called "Niburu" or "Planet X" biding its time out of sight somewhere in the solar system, CNET reports. In fact, Niburu was "supposed" to crash into Earth just last month. And while death-by-planet remains unlikely, the existence of an undiscovered planet in our solar system is now almost a certainty, according to NASA. Planetary astrophysicist Konstantin Batygin and professor Mike Brown set out to disprove the existence of a hidden planet a few years ago and, ironically, ended up finding convincing evidence for the existence of what they call "Planet Nine."

The main evidence for Planet Nine comes from its "gravitational footprint," but it's convincing enough that Batygin says the solar system makes a lot more sense with the hidden planet than without it, Space.com reports. Planet Nine is believed to be 10 times more massive than Earth and located about 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune. From its position in the far reaches of the solar system, it has tilted and reversed the orbits of objects in the Kuiper Belt, according to Batygin and Brown. It also may be the reason the orbits of the planets are slightly off from the sun's equator. Finally, Planet Nine could be the "super Earth" frequently found orbiting other stars but "conspicuously absent" around ours. Oh, and NASA wants conspiracy theorists to know Planet Nine, if it exists, is staying far away from Earth. (Scientists just found the smallest possible star.)

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