Whether you are or are not still upset over Pluto’s demoted planet status, there is talk of a new ninth planet. Known as “Planet Nine”, this possible planet is the cause of a frenzied space hunt. However, its existence is only a claim, and NASA wants you to help them find it. Evidence of this potential planet has been accumulating for some time now, but the belief of its existence is stronger than ever before
Championing this ninth planet has been circulating the astronomic realm for quite a while. Pointing to this perceived “Planet X” has a history of its own. However, the most recent discovery has been at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown believe they have discovered a massive planet in our solar system. Through mathematical modeling and computer simulations, Caltech researchers have been pushing the planet’s existence. The problem that has been presented is the object has not been justified directly. "I would love to find it," says Brown. "But I'd also be perfectly happy if someone else found it. That is why we're publishing this paper. We hope that other people are going to get inspired and start searching." This is where you come in.
A NASA-funded space project has been launched by The Zooniverse. This venture allows anyone at any age to participate. Here is how it works: NASA is inviting the public to help discover these possible worlds in the outer reaches of the solar system. By compiling what seems like a “flipbook” of some sort, short animations illuminate the sky. The public’s role is to scan and search for any disruptions or clustered colors throughout the images. NASA hopes that the combination of professional scientists and space enthusiasts will promote an easier and faster discovery. But who will find it? Thousands of volunteers are already scrambling to discover this Planet amongst our interstellar solar system, and who knows maybe it could be you!
Discovering this new celestial object could help explain a lot of things. It is predicted to be ten times the size of planet Earth, with an orbit that is twenty times further from the sun than Neptune! It is said to be so far from the sun that it would take anywhere from ten to twenty thousand years to complete one orbit! While these numbers may blow your mind, space hunts like this one have often been shut down. However, by starting this worldwide search and creating an enthusiastic space community, researchers hope to turn this mere fascination into a proved existence.