Scientists Believe Ninth Planet ‘Planet Nine’ Could Be Lurking Behind Neptune

By  //  September 3, 2018

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10 times the mass of Earth

Evidence for Planet Nine continues to mount, but there may be a good reason why scientists have yet to find it – it may be hiding. (Caltech/R. Hurt Image)

(FOX NEWS) – Evidence for Planet Nine continues to mount, but there may be a good reason why scientists have yet to find it – it may be hiding.

In October 2017, NASA released a statement saying that Planet Nine may be 20 times further from the Sun than Neptune is, going so far as to say “it is now harder to imagine our solar system without a Planet Nine than with one.”

But the reason it may not yet have been found is due to that same distance. At that distance, the equivalent, of 600 astronomical units (1 AU is defined as the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or approximately 93 million miles), it would be 160,000 times dimmer than Neptune is. Kevin Luhman, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, told the Washington Post that at 1,000 AU, it’s a “brick wall, basically,” making any potential planet next to impossible to see using current technology.

However, scientists believe the possibility of another planet, one which may have “10 times the mass of Earth,” does indeed exist.

“Every time we take a picture, there is this possibility that Planet Nine exists in the shot,” Surhud More, associate professor in Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo, told Advocator.

Slashgear reports that it could take up to 1,000 years before the planet is found.

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