Astronomers confirm bound orbit for planet far from its star, showing that far-flung planets exist.
Astronomers are still searching for a hypothetical “Planet Nine” in the distant reaches of our solar system, but an exoplanet 336 light years from Earth is looking more and more like the Planet Nine of its star system.
Planet Nine, potentially 10 times the size of Earth and orbiting far beyond Neptune in a highly eccentric orbit about the sun, was proposed in 2012 to explain perturbations in the orbits of dwarf planets just beyond Neptune’s orbit, so-called detached Kuiper Belt objects. It has yet to be found, if it exists.
A similarly weird extrasolar planet was discovered far from the star HD 106906 in 2013, the only such wide-separation planet known. While much heavier than the predicted mass of Planet Nine — perhaps 11 times the mass of Jupiter, or 3,500 times the mass of Earth — it, too, was sitting in a very unexpected location, far above the dust plane of the planetary system and tilted at an angle of about 21 degrees. Via – Sci Tech Daily