Until about twenty or thirty years ago, we’ve all learned in schools that there are nine planets in our Solar System. Pluto was also taken into account at that time, although today it’s officially considered just a dwarf planet. There’s still a lot of scientific debate about the subject, as the NASA Administrator himself, Jim Bridenstine, said firmly that he considers Pluto a planet.
Planet Nine, Planet X, the Perturber, Jehoshaphat, or, however, want to call it – scientists are still debating about a hypothetical Planet 9 in our Solar System.
There should be Planet 9, but not (necessarily) Pluto
The hypothetical Planet 9 is still something that astronomers want to spot. It’s like in the case of the black holes: scientists had actually seen one long after they predicted their existence by other methods. Some astronomers claim that there is evidence that there’s a ninth planet in the Solar System. That evidence is largely based on Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO).
KBOs are chunks of rocks that just never got to form planets, but some of them are big enough to compete for that. While some KBOs are very small, others measure 2,000 km across.
However, other scientists are skeptical about the existence of Planet 9, whatever its true name may be. For instance, Samantha Lawler is one of them, who is also an assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Regina from Canada. She’s studied different KBOs and Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO). She further made it clear by saying:
“…the Planet Nine theory does not hold up to detailed observations.”
Of course, there’s no use to lose hope just yet, for those of you who are in love with the hypothetical Planet 9 from our Solar System. Samantha Lawler didn’t say for sure that the planet doesn’t exist. And let’s not forget that there’s always the option to take Jim Bridenstine’s word for it when he says that he’s sure that Pluto is a planet. Therefore, Pluto may be Planet 9 after all, but perhaps the subject of whether there’s a Planet 9 or not will receive new focus and relevant studies in the near future from astronomers.