"Planet X" may be rocky, super-Earth 400 AU away


EXCERPT: . . . Almost a decade after poor Pluto was demoted from the ninth planet to just another of many dwarf planets, an intriguing paper was published by one of the "Pluto-killing" astronomers and his former students. The hypothesis suggested a larger, unseen Planet X lurks even further out on the edge of our solar system.

[...] "Our new efforts, both theoretical and numerical, suggest that in the original paper we over-estimated the parameters of Planet Nine," Konstantin Batygin explained. The new analysis paints a picture of a planet with a mass five times more than Earth's and which is located about 400 astronomical units (AU) away. For comparison, Pluto is only about 40 AU from us. The authors also conclude that the unseen planet is likely to be a rocky super-Earth rather than a gas giant. But the prospects for habitability are of course quite dim, just as the sun would be at such a distance.

[...] "The strongest argument in favor of Planet Nine is that independent lines of evidence can all be explained by a proposed new planet with the same properties. In other words, there are multiple reasons to believe that Planet Nine is real, not just one," said co-author Fred Adams.

[...] As the catalog of known exoplanets around other stars has rapidly expanded over the past decade, it has become increasingly clear that our system is actually pretty unusual. That's because rocky super-earths appear to be very common elsewhere, yet there isn't one in our solar system. "Planet Nine is going to be the closest thing we will find to a window into the properties of a typical planet of our galaxy," Batygin explained....

MORE (details): https://www.cnet.com/news/solar-systems-...tted-soon/

RELATED: History of the Quest for a Planet-X

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