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Are There Two More Planets In Our Solar System?

New data suggests there may be two undiscovered planets lurking on the outer fringes of our solar system. Astronomers at the Complutense University of Madrid have detected curious abnormalities in the orbits of a belt of icy rocks at the edge of the solar system, far beyond the orbit of Neptune, the eighth and final known planet. (In 2006, Pluto was demoted to a “dwarf planet”)

These so-called trans-Neptunian objects should have fairly specific, recognizable orbits. But 12 of the objects have very unusual orbits — evidence, astronomers say, that they may be under the gravitational pull of unseen planets. “Our calculations suggest that there are at least two planets, and probably more,” says astronomer Carlos de la Fuente Marcos. But he cautions that his team’s theory remains speculative, and that much more data must be gathered.The two unseen planets couldn’t be much bigger than Earth, or they would have been observed by now even at their great distance. If two additional planets are found, says de la Fuente Marcos, it would be “truly revolutionary for astronomy”

 

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