Meet Planet Nine
Scientists announced the discovery of a potential "Planet Nine" in our solar system on Jan. 20, 2016. See images of this strange giant world in our neighborhood here. THIS IMAGE: An artist's depiction of Planet Nine as envisioned by scientists.
At the Solar System's Edge
The Planet Nine evidence points to a giant planet with the mass of 10 Earths in the deep Kuiper Belt. Its orbit is about 20 times farther from the sun than that of Neptune.
The Discovery Team
The evidence for Planet Nine was unveiled by Caltech scientists Mike Brown (at left, a prolific Kuiper Belt object hunter) and Konstantin Batygin. The duo used mathematical models and computer simulations to map out Planet Nine's orbit after spotting a strange alignment in the orbits of six other Kuiper Belt objects.
What We Know
Here's what we know so far about Planet Nine. See the full infographic here.
More Evidence for Planet Nine
If a planet 10 times more massive than Earth is orbiting the sun beyond Neptune, it will affect the orbits of nearby objects. Researchers say five known objects fit the predicted orbits (shown here) precisely
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.