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Planet 10 Is Out There, Scientists Reckon

First Posted: Jun 23, 2017 04:35 AM EDT
NASA’s Kepler Mission Discovers A World Orbiting Two Stars
The newly discovered gaseous planet Kepler-16b orbits its two stars. (Image for representation only.)
(Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle/Getty Images)

After the demotion of Pluto from its planet status, the scientific community accepted that there are eight known planets in the solar system. Yes, Pluto and Eris are some of the small icy worlds that exist past Neptune, but scientists believe that there could still be a 10th world somewhere.

Scientists believe that there is still a planet in the outer solar system that is so far away and so cold that it is difficult to see it just yet. However, as science goes even further in developing high-resolution sky surveys and newer, more powerful telescopes, scientists are hoping to find such planet in time. If they cannot find it through telescopes, it is believed that scientists can use their gravitational tugs to lead the way -- in the same way that Neptune was discovered.

According to Forbes, Neptune was discovered after scientists found Uranus. At the time, they noticed that the motion of the icy planet did not quite agree Newton's theory on gravity. However, they believed something else may have lain past the planet that caused its pull -- and that planet is what is known today as Neptune.

Scientists from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory currently believe that there is an unseen object with a mass between that of Earth and Mars that could be lurking in the region beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt.

Space.com noted that in January 2016, a separate group of scientists predicted the existence of a planet the same size as Neptune and is said to have been orbiting the Sun about 25 times farther than the distance between Pluto and the Sun. The planet was already dubbed as "Planet Nine." So if predictions are correct for the existence of these planets far from Neptune, a "Tenth Planet" could also be lurking somewhere nearby.

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