Planet nine - level 3
Scientists have discovered some out-of-this-world information – the solar system may have an extra planet to what was thought before. According to research, it’s thought to be about 10 times bigger than Earth and would make it the ninth planet.
“We found that the only explanation we can come up with for some very strange behaviour at the edge of our solar system is that there's a giant planet, a planet that's ten times the mass of the Earth that is much much further out than than Neptune on this very elliptical orbit.”
Computer simulations show that the mystery planet, if it exists, would orbit about 20 times farther away from the Sun than Earth. However, so far the planet hasn’t yet been observed directly.
“We haven't seen it yet, but we've seen its gravitational influence on the outer part of our solar system, so we know it's there. We’re starting to look.”
Brown and his colleague modelled the hypothetical planet's gravitational effects on several known bodies in the region and found a near perfect match, which he described as a jaw-dropping moment.
“We went back and looked at the the catalogues of objects and they were perfectly, exactly where we predicted they're supposed to be. That's them moment when my jaw hit the floor and I was stunned.”
Now the search is on to find this mystery planet in the universe’s biggest game of hide-and-seek.
Difficult words: out-of-this world (this means two things: something that is in space and something that is very amazing), orbit (a long, circular journey), observe (to watch), influence (power), body (space object), jaw-dropping (amazing), my jaw hit the floor (I was very surprised, shocked), stunned (shocked, amazed).
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