October 5, 2017 / Modified nov 9, 2017 10:25 a.m.

Episode 100: Is There a New Planet to be Discovered?

A massive planetary object may be lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system.

AZSCI New Planets (PHOTO: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


A study by researchers at the UA provides evidence that a massive planetary object may be lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system. The Mars sized planet seems to be disrupting the orbits of other, smaller bodies within the Kuiper Belt. The Kuiper Belt lies beyond the orbit of Neptune and hosts a number of smaller planets, mostly small icy bodies and a few dwarf planets. One reason the researchers have not yet located the object is due to the fact that they have not been able to view the entire sky for distant solar system objects. The upcoming launch of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a new telescope that will survey the entire sky, should help identify the planet should it exist.

In this episode:

Kat Volk, Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Planetary Sciences at the UA
Tim Swindle, Ph.D., Director and Head of the Lunar and Planetary Lab

Arizona Science
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