Planet 9 may be closer and easier to find than thought—if it exists
A new study's "treasure map" suggests that a planet several times more massive than Earth could be hiding in our solar system, camouflaged by the bright strip of stars that make up the Milky Way.
Among the solar system’s more intriguing mysteries is whether a large, icy planet lives in the outer regions of our cosmic neighborhood, well beyond the orbit of Neptune. This hypothetical world, nicknamed “Planet Nine” by some of the scientists searching for it, has stirred up controversy since it was first proposed.
The unseen planet is predicted to exist based on its apparent gravitational influence on a group of small objects with odd, clustered orbits. But so far, searches for it have come up empty, and critics contend that the hints of its presence are just ghosts in the data.
Now, a new analysis predicts that if it’s out there, that skulking planet could be closer, brighter,