In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our solar system, astronomers are conducting the largest, deepest survey for objects beyond Neptune and the Kuiper Belt. Nearly 10 percent of the sky has been explored to date using some of the largest and most advanced telescopes, revealing several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun.
Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first such body to be discovered inside our own solar system — when or if it is found. The theory is that our Sun, in its youth some 4.5 billion years ago, stole Planet 9 from its original star.
Several recent news stories have reported that a mysterious anomaly in the orbit of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft around Saturn could potentially be explained by the gravitational tug of theorised Planet 9, existing far beyond the orbit of Neptune in our solar system. However, NASA cannot find any unexplained deviations in the spacecraft’s orbit.