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Have researchers discovered a second Earth?

Have researchers discovered a second Earth?

There are many dwarf planets on the edge of our solar system. But Japanese researchers claim to have made another discovery there.

A previously unknown Earth-like planet may be hiding at the edge of our solar system. A group of researchers published corresponding observations behind the planet Neptune – the planet farthest from the Sun – in the “Astronomical Journal”.

Scientists have looked at objects in the Kuiper Belt, a group of dwarf planets like Pluto and Eris. It is also said that there are many comets and so-called trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) that have not been investigated much. One of them, called Sedna, is made largely of ice and is red in color. It was discovered in 2003 and was already a planet candidate.

Only a new planet explains the anomalies

But now researchers led by astronomer Patrick Sofia Likawka have made a new observation. Its orbit, like the orbit of other celestial bodies in its vicinity, can only be explained by the presence of an Earth-sized planet.

The basis for this is provided by computer simulations of various gravitational forces in the solar system. An Earth-like planet – which so far only exists as a theory – would explain the observed anomalies, according to the researchers in their paper. It will be three times larger than Earth, and about 500 times farther from the Sun than Earth.

If the prediction comes true, there will be only a ninth planet in our solar system. Scientists say that the definition of what a planet is also needs to be reconsidered. But no one has seen the alleged planet yet. The Japanese are now calling on the scientific community to test their theory. If TNOs were found at a distance of 150 longitudes between the Sun and Earth, that would be confirmation.