Scientists have long believed that our solar system might have a ninth planet orbiting well beyond Neptune and Pluto. Scientists hypothesize that the mysterious planet would be between five and 20 Earth masses and would orbit on an elliptical some hundreds or thousands of times more distant from the Sun than the Earth.
Massive rogue planet found lurking outside our solar system
by Brittany A. Roston
SlashGear / 2018-08-06 14:51
Researchers have discovered a “rogue” planet outside of our solar system using the Very Large Array (VLA), the first time such a discovery has been made using a radio telescope. The planet is called rogue due to its lack of a parent star, having the distinction of being something between a planet and a brown dwarf
Are they stars? Are they lost planets? Brown dwarfs, the galaxy’s dark, wandering orbs, are some of space’s most perplexing features. They’re larger than Jupiter but smaller than stars, glow on their own and, well, they’re just really strange.
Every discovery we make about the universe has implications for us. Understanding how our solar system formed, and how we got here, helps us figure out how likely it is that we’ll find life on other planets. Even just our corner of the galaxy is vast; anything we can do to help narrow the possibilities of where we can and should search for life beyond our planet is helpful.
For billions of years, the Solar System’s asteroids have been involved in an endless game of bumper cars, smashing into each other and splintering into smaller bits. But get this—astronomers have just detected a clump of asteroids that has managed, quite miraculously, to stay intact since they first formed some four… Read more…
Citizen scientists may not have the time and equipment of their pro counterparts, but their dedication can sometimes lead to discoveries that would otherwise be impractical. Case in point: a NASA-backed citizen science initiative, Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 , has found a brown dwarf (effectively, a failed star) relatively close to the Sun at 110 light years away.