Earth-Size Planet Beyond Pluto and Kuiper Belt?

“Even though this object (Planet X) might be at 100 A. U., if it’s a bright object, if its surface reflects light sufficiently, then it might easily be picked up - and perhaps other objects like it - by these new surveys coming on line even next year (2009) and in the next several years.”

- Prof. Mark V. Sykes, Ph.D., Planetary Science Institute

Illustration of possible Earth-size planet beyond Pluto and Kuiper Belt at 100 Astronomical Units (A. U.) from our sun (upper right). Theorized by Kobe University Japanese scientists because of perturbations in the orbits of other bodies in that region of solar system. Illustration courtesy Kobe University, Japan.
Illustration of possible Earth-size planet beyond Pluto and Kuiper Belt at 100 Astronomical Units (A. U.) from our sun (upper right). Theorized by Kobe University Japanese scientists because of perturbations in the orbits of other bodies in that region of solar system. Illustration courtesy Kobe University, Japan.
Illustration of Kuiper Belt objects (green) ranging from 42 to 47 Astronomical Units (A. U.) from the sun beyond Pluto. Illustration courtesy Kobe University, Japan.
Illustration of Kuiper Belt objects (green) ranging from 42 to 47 Astronomical Units (A. U.) from the sun beyond Pluto. Illustration courtesy Kobe University, Japan.

March 28, 2008   Tucson, Arizona - The upcoming April 2008 printed issue of The Astronomical Journal will have this intriguing paper: “An Outer Planet Beyond Pluto and the Origin of the Trans-Neptunian Belt Architecture.” The authors are Patryk Lykawka and Tadashi Mukai from the Graduate School of Science, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kobe University, Japan. After studying perturbations and highly angled inclinations to the plane of the inner solar system among objects in a region 100 Astronomical Units (A. U.) from our sun far beyond Pluto, the Japanese scientists propose the discovery of a nearly Earth-size planet out there that takes 1,000 years to orbit the sun. Prof. Tadashi Mukai says,  “We have been able to identify more than 1,100 objects beyond Neptune since 1992, and a huge number of objects are showing large orbital eccentricities and elliptical orbits.”

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