Planet Nine might be invisible for at least 1,000 years1 min read

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.

Artists impression of Planet 9

With the planet thought to orbit so far from Earth-based telescopes, it could be impossible to find with current telescopes. The challenge is that the planet is thought to be so dim, about a million times dimmer than Neptune, that it could hide in the light pollution from the Milky Way. Earth’s most potent observatory currently is the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

That massive telescope can view a field in the sky about the size of 4,000 full moons at once. Even with such a gigantic field of view, Planet Nine is very difficult to observe. Researchers note that if the orbit of the mysterious world is beyond the 1,000 AU limit of current telescopes, it could lie invisible for the next 1,000 years.

The case for Planet Nine currently focuses on the belief that something beyond Neptune that is causing the orbits of other space objects to be affected. Whether or not that is Planet Nine remains to be confirmed.

At some point in the distant future scientists might confirm the existence of Planet Nine that was theorized about in our time. Perhaps by then, the scientific community will have decided to make Pluto a planet again, the little guy deserves it.

Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from

You have Successfully Subscribed!