There are 8 known planets in our solar system namely, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. However there is also the potential planet 9, Kuiper Belt which is the furthest planet on the solar system and takes between 10,000 and 20,000 earth years to make one full orbit around the sun. The planet is sometimes referred to as Kuiper Edgeworth Belt. Here are interesting facts about potential planet 9, Kuiper Belt;
- Takes up the largest region on the solar system.
One of the most fascinating facts about Kuiper Belt is its domination of the largest region in the solar system. The planet is so huge that it gravitationally takes up a region larger than any of the other known eight planets. According to studies, planet nine is ten times bigger than the earth and its orbit is twenty times further from the sun compared to that of Neptune. For this reason, the planet reflects very little light from the sun thus making it hard for telescopes to see.
- Planet 9 has changed our knowledge on the solar system.
Scientists were able to release solid evidence proving that there are more planets on the solar system than those we already knew existed. This fact has completely changed the knowledge we had on how the solar system was made because scientists believe that planet 9 could not have been created at the same time the four gas planets i.e. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune were being formed. Kuiper Belt is believed to have been formed after it got too close to either Jupiter or Saturn and was rejected to its distant orbit.
- One of the scientists who eliminated planet Pluto discovered Planet 9.
Another interesting fact about Planet 9 is that Mike Brown, who was one of the two scientists to make its discovery, is also the same scientist who eliminated Pluto’s existence as a planet. The scientist even wrote a book about the reclassification of Pluto as a planet terming it as a dwarf planet. The book is titled, ?How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming’.
The two scientists who made the discovery of planet 9 defend their findings by stating that unlike Pluto, this planet is large enough to strip off any debate whether it is a real planet or not and also the fact that it is larger than any other planet on the solar system makes it more planet-y of all the planets.
- Contains millions of icy objects in various sizes.
The Kuiper Belt holds millions of icy objects in various sizes ranging from small lumps of ice to huge objects of a hundred kilometers in diameter and more. The estimated number of objects which are larger than 100 km in diameter and are found in planet 9 is 35000 which is multiple times compared to the number of objects found in the asteroid belt. A team of astronomers also confirmed that there might be as many as a hundred million faint and small objects in the belt which have a diameter of twenty kilometers or less.
- Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper Belt.
So far, the largest object in the Kuiper Belt is the dwarf planet Pluto. Actually, Pluto was labeled a dwarf planet due to its status as part of planet nine. Even though Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper Belt, there is an object larger than it located in the outer disc known as Eris which is believed to have initially existed in the Kuiper Belt.
Another object that is larger than Pluto and is also believed to have originally existed in the Kuiper Belt is Neptune’s Moon Triton. It is believed that the moon was removed from planet nine after gravitational encounters. At least three dwarf planets are located in the Kuiper Belt i.e. Makemake, Haumea and Pluto and among them Pluto is the largest.
In conclusion, Planet 9, Kuiper Belt has various structures resembling it which exist around nine other stars. This planet is often described as being more torus shaped than a belt should be because of thickness in most places. Research has also shown that Kuiper Belt is similar to the asteroid belt which is located between planets Mars and Jupiter but what differentiates the two is the fact that Kuiper Belt is twenty times wider and two hundred times more vast.