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Neptune-sized ninth planet exists beyond Pluto, say astronomers

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:27 IST

The astronomers at the California Institute of Technology have found an evidence of a giant icy planet hiding in the darkness of our solar system.

The planet, which is supposed to be far beyond the orbit of Pluto, is being called as 'Planet Nine' by the astronomers, The Washington Post reports. The paper published in the Astronomical Journal, describes the planet as about five to 10 times the size of the Earth.

The authors of the paper have, however, not observed the planet directly.

They have deduced the existence of the planet from the motion of recently discovered dwarf planets and other small objects in the outer solar system.

These smaller bodies or dwarf planets have orbits which appear to be influenced by the gravity of a hidden planet - a 'massive perturber.'

According to the suggestions made by the astronomers at the institute, the planet might have been flung into deep space long ago by the gravitational force of Jupiter or Saturn.

First published: 21 January 2016, 10:43 IST
 
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