Several scientists around the world believe that there is a massive space body beyond the orbit of Neptune. That would explain the irregular trajectories of distant objects in the Solar System. This elusive rock is known as Planet Nine.
Because it is so far away in the Solar System, Planet Nine is impossible to spot using traditional methods, so scientists need to conduct lots of calculations just to guess the possible orbit of this distant space body.
A recent study on Planet Nine
A team of three scientists – Matthew J Holman, Matthew J Payne, and Andras Pa – came up with a new theory on Planet Nine. According to the paper that they published earlier this month, NASA’s TESS has already spotted the planet. However, astronomers haven’t sufficient time to observe it with telescopes.
“To discover new objects, with unknown trajectories, we can try all possible orbits,” scientists said in their new paper. They refer to digital tracking, and, even though the method is viable, it is challenging to implement.
Direct observation of Planet Nine is still difficult
But there’s also something else that makes challenging a direct view on the mysterious object. And that because scientists need to conduct complicated calculations to know where the planet precisely is at every moment.
Evidently, the new study is hypothetical. At the moment, nobody spotted Planet Nine among the data sent home by TESS. That would be a hard endeavor, but not impossible. The digital tracking method, however, has already been used to spot objects beyond Neptune successfully. Soon, hopefully, the technique will help astronomers find Planet Nine.
The bottom line
Planet Nine remains a mystery. We hope that scientists will soon announce the observation of the massive space body that lurks from beyond Neptune. Until then, however, all that the scientists release are theories.
In conclusion, we might soon observe Planet Nine, but no one knows when would that happen.