A mysterious planet may be lurking around in our solar system
We are all happy in our usual knowledge that we have eight planets in our solar system. Pluto has already been declared a dwarf planet. For more than 100 years, scientists have been so occupied in developing advansed telescopes and looking beyond the confines of the solar system that we laypeople have perhaps forgotten that our very own solar system still had many secrets waiting to be discovered. We might not fully have figured out our own neighbourhood yet.
The solar system is more complex than the idea that there is Sun in the middle and planets are nicely revolving around it. There is much more than this in there. There are asteroids, space rocks, dust specks and more. And we can't possibly claime that we have figured things out 100 per cent.
Scientists have long been intrigued by the idea that there is another planet beyond Pluto that is part of our solar system and revolves around the Sun just like other planets. But there hasn't been any confirmed evidence of this, nor this 'Planet Nine', as it has been called, has been observed through any of our telescopes.
Why do scientists think there is a Planet Nine?
Media reports say that scientists have already observed the space objects beyond Pluto have an elliptical orbit around the Sun and that plane of their revolution around the Sun is in an incline with planes of revolution of other planets. Scientists think that this is happening because a mysterious planet is affecting these space object due to its gravity.
But why is it tough to detect Planet Nine?
It is estimated that Planet Nine is twenty times as far from the Sun as Neptune is. When we consider that Neptune is 4.47 billion kilometres away from the Sun, twenty times this distance surely becomes a huge, huge figure.
When our telescopes (or space telescopes) try to find a planet, we often rely on detection of light reflected from the surface of these planets. Another method is to detect a 'dip' in light of a star when a planet revolving around it comes between us and the star.
Due to very large distance of Planet Nine from the Sun, scientists think that detecting reflected sunlight from the planet would be very- very difficult.