PLANET X may not be alone after all at the far end of the solar system, as new pieces of evidence for possible planets “Y” and “Z” arise.

New Horizons, a new spacecraft of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is set to probe the Kuiper Belt, a region past Neptune filled with unidentified heavenly bodies, to look for any possible planet.

“It is certainly possible that one (or more objects) as large as Pluto remains to be found in about 70 astronomical units (mean distance of the earth to the sun),” said Lowell Observatory astronomer Bob Millis, leader of a team that discovered more than 400 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO). The hypothetical planets are named as planets “Y” and “Z”. New Horizons will proceed to Kuiper Belt after its half-year encounter with Pluto and its moon Charon.

According to Dr. Augusto Morales, a physicist from the College of Science, “a planet may or may not have an atmosphere (like KBOs). It could be solid like Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, or (mostly) gas like Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, but all of them are thought to have a solid core.”

Since 1992, there have been 800 KBOs identified as possible planets. A heavenly body must have a fixed or stable orbit, isolated in its own region of space, to be considered a planet.

“If an orbit is unstable, a heavenly body can do two things: in can spin inward towards the sun, or whatever is attracting it, or it can fly off outward from our reference point, (the sun),” Morales told the Varsitarian.

Cardinal memories of Cardinal Sin

Still, due to gravitational forces from other heavenly bodies intercepting an orbit, some planets at the end of the solar system have been discovered. The sun is so massive that, despite the distance, it can attract all heavenly bodies outside the solar system.

The astronomical units of countries interested in the discovery of new planets are developing larger telescopes that can be tuned to distant objects like planets “Y” and “Z”. Sooner or later, a whole new batch of planets in the solar system can be proved. Laurence John R. Morales with reports from and


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