DR. SKY BLOG

What do astronomers believe Planet 9 looks like?

Feb 21, 2017, 7:28 AM
(Flickr/
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)...
(Flickr/ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

Evidence has been building of a huge planet, known to astronomers only as Planet 9, which may be lurking at the outer regions of the solar system.

Other models show something is pulling objects that lie in a region of the solar system called the Kuiper belt, which is behind Neptune.

But what is causing this? Astronomers believe a large planet — Planet 9 — that may take up to 21,000 years to orbit the sun has the potential to fit this evidence.

Planet 9 could be as much as 10 times bigger than Earth and 75 times more distant than Pluto. But good news: You can help discover this new planet, right from the comfort of your own home.

Arizona State University astronomer Adam Schneider is heading a new citizen-science website called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, which allows anyone to search through images to discover new objects in space.

And you get to take the credit if you find something, just like Clyde Tombaugh did when he found Pluto in 1930, right here in Arizona.

Good luck!

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What do astronomers believe Planet 9 looks like?