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Astronomers May Have Discovered A Ninth Planet

| by Emily Smith
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A mysterious new planet that reportedly wiped out the Earth millions of year ago could do it again.

Some believe Planet Nine could wipe out the Earth within the month of April, The Sun reports. The new planet, discovered at the edge of the solar system in January, has since triggered comet showers, according to Daniel Whitmire at the University of Louisiana.

Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, of CalTech, made the shocking discovery.

"What we think we've seen is that the very outer edge of our solar system is being pushed around by something else out there and that something else we think is the real ninth planet, this massive thing that's pushing everything around out there," Brown, an astronomer, told PRI.

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The planet reportedly has a 20,000-year orbit around the sun and when closest to us, knocks asteroids in Earth’s directions, The Sun notes. According to fossil evidence, most of life on Earth was mysteriously wiped out every 26 to 27 million years in the past.

"Our computer models suggest that its mass is close to 10X the mass of the earth, so it’s quite a substantial planet, its orbit is exceptionally wide, its closest pass swings in at around 250X the distance between the Earth and the Sun, at its most distant it sits at around 1,000X this distance, so it has an exceptionally elongated, long period, orbit," Batygin a planetary scientist, told PRI.

Whitmire said Planet Nine’s passage is responsible for the "extinction events." In the 80s and 90s, conspiracy theorists claimed that a red dwarf planet that approached Earth every 36,000 years was behind the events. The theory was widely dismissed until Planet Nine was identified in January by the California Institute of Technology.

Some are convinced that the collision or near miss will occur before the end of April. However, many NASA scientists have said they need more proof before officially declaring the object a new planet, PRI reports. Brown and Batygin said they welcome the skepticism and hope that it will lead to more astronomers identifying Planet Nine.

Sources: The Sun, PRI / Photo Credit: CalTech via The Sun, Outlook

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