A team of astrophysicists from the US announced that they've discovered a 9th planet in our Solar System. The newly found celestial object is located considerably far away from Earth. Preliminary calculations indicate that the planet stands 20 times farther away from us than the current farthest planet - Neptune.
Data about the sensational find are published in The Astronomical Journal.
The newly found planet is a gas giant, its mass between 5-10 times greater than that of Earth's. It lies far in the periphery of our Solar System.
According to the discoverers there exists a very real danger of the planet being thrown out into deep space due to the gravitational effects of the giants Jupiter and Saturn.
Unlike the majority of its counterparts, the recently found planet does not bear the name of an Ancient Roman god. Astrophysicists have simply called it "Planet Nine".
We'll have to accept the news about the find of the 9th planet with a high dose of trust and confidence in the team's abilities because Planet Nine is so far away it's not actually visible with a telescope.
And then the reasonable question is how the planet that can't be seen was actually spotted. The answer: it was done after a thorough study of the movement of small celestial objects beyond Pluto's orbit.
Most of us remember that when we were kids in school we were taught that there were 9 planets in the Solar System - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Pluto. And might, logically, be wondering how the new planet could be called Planet Nine.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union changed some of the criteria by which a celestial body could be defined as a planet, resulting in planet Pluto's removal from the list of planets.
This decision by the International Astronomical Union sparked a series of debates in the scientific communities, as well as in society. Despite immense public pressure, as well as separate objections by many distinguished scientists, the IAU has not and does not intend to change its decision.
Presently, Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet, and with the newly uncovered Planet Nine the number of planets in our Solar System is once again 9.