Planet X

Sophie Pressler, Reporter

In January, two researchers in the scientific field claimed to have discovered a theoretic new ninth planet on the outer reaches of our solar system.

“When I heard about Planet X on the radio, I was curious to know more,” science teacher Mike Christian said. “I wanted to know what they are basing their theory on and if there was more direct evidence.”

Currently, the idea of the new ninth planet, Planet X, is merely a theory which was formed by a pair of planetary scientists at the California Institute of Technology. The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, formulated their theory based on gravitational disturbances caused by a large object on the Kuiper belt. They believed that the possible planet and its orbit are the cause of the disturbances which led them to conducting more in-depth research.

“Based on the evidence they have collected so far, I do think there is something there,” physics teacher Allan Parent said. “However, I’m not so sure that the object is really a planet. It’s more likely that it is some sort of large asteroid or meteor.”

The only evidence of the Planet so far is its possible orbit and the possibility of its existence due to gravitational distortions. Until the planet is seen by a large, advanced telescope, however, the theory of the planet cannot be proven as a fact        . The gravitational distortions are hard to explain without some sort of celestial body causing them which makes the theory much more likely.

“I feel that Planet X will really encourage more young adults to be a part of the scientific field.” junior Jade Bowers said. “The theory creates lots of interest and will probably push those in the field to confirm the discovery and make more observations in the future.”

New discoveries are constantly being made in the scientific field. Science in general is truly about questioning what is said to be a known fact and finding out more about the world around us. A discovery as impactful as a new planet will surely inspire students to question their teaching and to make significant discoveries about space, considering there is so much about the universe we still haven’t discovered.

“It’s always exciting when a new space discovery is made.” Parent said. “It’s a huge catalyst for energizing the scientific field and will hopefully lead to a more knowledgeable future.”