Potential Ninth Planet in Our Solar System

Lindsey Marie Round

Ten years ago, the world received shocking news that Pluto is not a full planet, but rather a dwarf planet.[1] In fact, scientists determined that there is not just one dwarf planet, Pluto, but there are multiple of these smaller planets in our solar system.[2] For all of those who grew up being taught in school that there were nine major planets, this scientific discovery was major news. However, the idea that there are eight major planets may be change once again. Professor Michael Brown at California Institute of Technology has proposed reasoning for why the plane of planet orbitals is slightly tilted. [3] Professor Brown has discovered evidence that there may be a huge planet, about the size of Neptune, located beyond Neptune orbiting the sun.[4] Since this planet is located beyond Neptune it would have the power to tilt the rest of the planets.[5] Professor Brown believes that scientists will be able to learn more about this possible ninth planet within the upcoming year.[6] So for now, there are eight major planets, but that could change in the near future, except this time the ninth planet will not be Pluto.


[1] Jorge Salazar, This Date in Science: Pluto Gets a Demotion, EarthSky (Aug. 24, 2006), http://earthsky.org/space/this-date-in-science-pluto-demoted-to-dwarf-planet-status.

[2] Id.

[3] Nicholas St. Fleur, If Planet Nine is Out There, It Tilts Our Solar System, N.Y. Times (Oct. 20, 2016), http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/21/science/planet-nine.html.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.

[6] Id.