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Planet X myth debunked

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Posted March 18, 2014
The hunt for Planet X began after Uranus (pictured) was first discovered in 1781 with astrologers hoping it could describe the w
The hunt for Planet X began after Uranus (pictured) was first discovered in 1781 with astrologers hoping it could explain the wobbly orbit of Uranus around the sun
It was an elusive planet that for 200 years appeared to explain Uranus’s wobbly orbit. And there was the sister sun theorized to be near our solar system that caused asteroids to swerve toward Earth.

There is just one problem: neither “Planet X” nor “Nemesis” ever existed, researchers now say.

Or probably not.

“The outer solar system probably does not contain a large gas giant planet (“Planet X”), or a small, companion star (“Nemesis”),” concluded University of Pennsylvania astronomer Kevin Luhman, who directed the study using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope.

The results were published in the most recent edition of The Astrophysical Journal.

Most theories had estimated Planet X to be up to four times the size of Jupiter—the biggest planet in our solar system.

They suggested it would be found some 1,486 billion kilometers (923 billion miles) from the sun, or about 10,000 times farther than the Earth’s orbit.

But the images gathered by the telescope did not detect any object larger than Jupiter.

Luhman doesn’t rule out the possibility that a planet is lurking somewhere in the asteroid belt.

It would be hard to find if it were closely aligned with a bright star that blinds the telescope or were much smaller than had been theorized.

Read more at: Phys.org

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