'Planet Nine'-Type Worlds Are the Most Common Ones We Know (Infographic)

Breakdown of planets by mass range.
Mini-Neptunes outnumber other types of planets found by astronomers. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics artist)

On Jan. 20, 2016, scientists announced the discovery of what could be a giant planet in the Kuiper Belt at the outer edge of our solar system. Nicknamed "Planet Nine," the world about 10 times the mass of the Earth and would take between 10,000 and 20,000 years to orbit the sun. Such mini-Neptunes may actually outnumber most other planets in our galaxy, scientists say.

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Karl Tate
Space.com contributor

Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork).  Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.