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Elusive Planet Nine could be an alternative form of gravity masquerading as a planet, study claims


An artist’s impression of what Planet Nine might look like at the edge of the solar system. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The elusive Planet Nine, which is theorized to be lurking somewhere in the outer reaches of the solar system, may not be a planet after all, a new study suggests. Instead, what we assumed to be a massive object could be evidence that gravity doesn’t work like we thought it does. But the new theory doesn’t sit well with everyone.

The Planet Nine hypothesis, first proposed in 2016, argues that the unusual orbits of objects in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune, which seem to be being pulled away from the sun, can be explained by the presence of an undiscovered ninth planet up to 10 times more massive than Earth. Astronomers have been looking for Planet Nine ever since. However, despite searching almost half of the night sky, they have so far come up empty-handed.    

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