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The Hunt for Planet 9: How Soon Can We See the Elusive Planet?

Oct 25, 2016 04:10 AM EDT
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Scientists believe that the mysterious ninth planet will soon be spotted.

According to Mark Brown, one of the astronomers who proposed "Planet 9" theory early this year, it is only a matter of time before the hypothetical planet will be discovered -- 16 months or so to give an estimate.

In a report, Space.com quoted Brown who spoke during a news conference on October 19 at a joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Pasadena, Calif.:

"I'm pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter -- not this winter, next winter -- I think that there'll be enough people looking for it that ... somebody's actually going to track this down."

According to News.Au.com, Brown and Konstantin Batygin discovered the planet's existence via mathematical modelling and computer simulations. Their paper was presented in January. Afterwhich, a follow up study was done by the pair, alongside astronomer Elizabeth Bailey this October to verify if the hypothetical planet is responsible for the tilt in the solar system. Calculations of the study presented at the annual meeting of planetary scientists of the American Astronomical Society this week suggest that the ninth planet is largely influencing the tilt.

READ: Mystery In Solar System Could Be Explained by 'Planet 9'

The latest addition to their theory was published this week by the Astrophysical Journal.

Daily Mail said the ninth planet is roughly four time the size of Earth and ten times the mass. Its huge orbit would mean it takes between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make a single pass around the sun, another reason why despite its huge size, astronomers are still not able to see it.

Meanwhile, the report added that aside from the elusive ninth planet which is estimated to be located beyond Neptune, CalTech team of experts had also discovered distant icy rocks including Eris, which displaced Pluto's planetary status.

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