A huge planet which has never been seen by astronomers could be lurking, almost invisibly, at the dark edges of our solar system, astronomers believe.
But while there is a lot of evidence for the planet – thought to be 20 times further out from the Sun than Neptune – it may be impossible to see with current technology.
The giant, hidden planet is thought to be 10 times more massive than Earth – and on an orbit which takes 10,000 or 20,000 years to go round the sun.
Kevin Luhman, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University told the Washington Post that the planet would be 160,000 times dimmer than Neptune – meaning that detecting it is a ‘brick wall, basically.’
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Some experts believe it could be up to 1,000 years before the planet is spotted.
Surhud More, associate professor in Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo said, ‘Every time we take a picture, there is this possibility that Planet Nine exists in the shot.’
The evidence for the existence the planet is so far in the form of distant rocky objects with strange orbits – hinting that they are being ‘pulled’ by the gravity of a large object at the edge of our solar system.
In 2016, Caltech scientists spotted signs which offered a hint that there is a huge, unseen world lurking at the edge of our solar system – and other rocky objects have since offered hints it might be there.