Currently, our solar system contains eight known planets, but what if there is a ninth planet lurking in our solar system that we haven’t spotted yet.
The overall odds of this being the case are in favor of a non-existent Planet Nine, however, and a new study has provided evidence that there is “something” causing the phenomenon of gravity. Astronomers have observed Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and note that instead of being in random motion, they are in groups, regardless of the object classifications.
This observation of clumps of Kuiper belt bodies leads researchers to believe that an undiscovered large-mass celestial body is causing an anomaly in gravity. In 2016, researchers came to this very conclusion when they released a study that calculated the mass of an undiscovered celestial body to be about five that of planet Earth and to be about 10 times the distance between Neptune and the Sun. However, astronomers searched for this ninth planet and it was not found.
Now, a new study aimed at alleviating criticism of the 2016 study has provided new evidence suggesting that there is only a 0.4% chance that Kuiper belt objects will mass without a massive celestial body — such as a planet. In the end, the debate about the existence of Planet Nine is still open, and we hope that astronomers will be able to bring up the debate once the James Webb Space Telescope is launched and up and running.