by Meera Dolasia
When Pluto was demoted to dwarf status in 2006, we were left with a mere eight planets in our solar system. Now Planetary Astronomy Professor Mike Brown, the researcher responsible for ‘killing’ Pluto may have redeemed himself with the discovery of a massive ninth planet – One he believes is worthy of being added to the elite group of eight.
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researcher and his colleague Konstantin Batygin think that Planet 9, which is lurking at the edge of our solar system, is about three times larger than Earth. It revolves around the sun in a highly elliptical orbit. Computer simulations suggest that even at its closest the planet is 200 – 300 times farther that Earth gets to the star. At its farthest, the gaseous giant is a distance of between 600 – 1,200 times that of Earth. It is no wonder that it takes the celestial body over 20,000 Earth years to complete a single orbit!
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