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Lighting a path to find Planet Nine

28 Oct 2020, 10:20 UTC
Lighting a path to find Planet Nine
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An artist’s depiction of the hypothesized Planet Nine. Image via Yale University/ © stock.adobe.com.
In the search for Planet Nine – a hypothesized ninth planet in our solar system – two Yale astronomers are using a new technique that scoops up scattered light from thousands of space telescope images and identifies a trail of orbital pathways for previously undetected objects in an incredibly dark corner of space, 12 to 23 times farther from the sun than Pluto.
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Yale astronomer Malena Rice is lead author of the new study, accepted for publication by The Planetary Science Journal. Rice presented the findings on October 27, 2020, at the (virtual) annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. Rice said in a statement:
If Planet Nine is out there, it’s going to be incredibly dim.
The possibility of a ninth planet in our solar system, located beyond the orbit of Neptune, has gained momentum among astronomers in recent years as they’ve examined the curious orbits of a cluster of small, icy objects in the Kuiper Belt. Many astronomers believe the alignment of these objects ...

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