New Evidence for Planet 9! | SciShow News

New Evidence for Planet 9! | SciShow News

[♪ INTRO] Right now, we know of eight planets in our
solar system, but for more than a century, scientists have been searching for number
nine. It’s a proposed super-Earth: a planet past
Neptune much larger than our own. Over the years, there’s been some evidence
that it might exist, and this week, researchers published even more. On Tuesday, scientists announced the discovery
of a new, extremely distant object beyond Neptune. It’s detailed in a paper submitted to the
Astronomical Journal, and it’s named 2015 TG387. And while it’s not a planet itself, it could
point us to the long theorized Planet 9. The object is pretty tiny, with a diameter
of only about 300 kilometers, almost 90% smaller than Pluto’s. And it’s pretty far out. No, like,
literally way, way out in the solar system. When it was first observed in 2015,
as part of an ongoing survey, it was about 80 astronomical units,
or AU, from the Sun. That’s 80 times farther from
our star than the Earth, or more than twice as far
as Pluto is right now. But comparatively speaking, that’s actually
really close to us. For 99% of its 40,000-year orbit, this object
is so far away we can’t even see it. After years of observation, researchers have
calculated that, at its farthest, it’s a whopping 2300 AU from the Sun,
much farther than any other known object. So far, we’ve only found two other objects
with orbits comparable to this: the dwarf planet Sedna,
and the planetoid called 2012 VP113. These objects are so far out that their orbits are mostly unaffected by the gravity of the eight known planets. So by studying them, we can learn about the outer
solar system and map what’s going on out there. And these orbits may already be pointing to
something big. All three of these objects, including TG387,
share similar orbital paths, almost like they’re being shepherded
by something larger. According to the researchers, that object
could be the elusive Planet 9. To learn more, the researchers ran
simulations to see how the gravity of a hypothetical Planet 9 would affect
the orbits of these objects. And the results were promising. For one, they showed that these objects did
maintain stable orbits. In other words, their current paths wouldn’t
be messed up if a Planet 9 existed out there. The results also confirmed that a hypothetical
planet could be shepherding the small objects. That could explain why Sedna and
TG387 take similar paths. But to be sure we need more data, or a direct
observation of the planet itself. Scientists are looking, but since estimates
suggest Planet 9 would never get closer to the Sun than 200 AU, it’s going to be
pretty faint and tough to see, if it exists at all. Now, even if another planet does exist, don’t
expect us to send astronauts there any time soon. Even if we could send a crewed mission that
far, research published on Monday suggests we might have trouble surviving the journey. According to the study, which was published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, long-term space travel has the
potential to seriously damage our GI tracts. The GI, or gastrointestinal tract, is the
organ system we use to digest food. And this new paper suggests
that space travel could make it less effective at absorbing nutrients
and could potentially cause tumors. It’s all thanks to our good friend cosmic
radiation. Cosmic radiation mostly comes from objects
beyond the solar system, and there are a few types of it, including the extra dangerous
heavy-ion radiation. It comes from supernova explosions, and is made of certain atomic nuclei
accelerated to near light-speed. Because of its mass, it’s much more
damaging than gamma and X-rays. Thankfully, our planet’s magnetic field blocks
most of it, but out in the vastness of space, there’s not really anything to shield us
against its effects. Previous studies in mice have shown that exposure
to heavy-ion radiation can lead to damaged brain tissue and accelerated aging during
prolonged space trips. And this new paper only adds to the list of
potential concerns. In the study, researchers exposed mice to low doses
of iron radiation, a form of heavy-ion radiation, to simulate the exposure astronauts
would receive during a round trip to Mars. Then, these animals were
compared to other groups of mice, one which had been exposed to
similar amounts of gamma rays, and a control group that
received no radiation at all. The goal was to isolate the effects
of different types of cosmic rays. And what the team found wasn’t that encouraging. The mice exposed to iron radiation developed
cancerous polyps in the soft tissues of their GI tracts, and had fewer enzymes
needed for nutrient absorption. This may have happened if the radiation damaged
the DNA in their intestinal walls, making them incapable of normal cell division. Now, it is worth noting that not all mice
studies translate perfectly to humans, especially when it comes to radiation. But since we don’t have a good way to protect
our spacecraft against these kind of rays, it’s worth studying them any way we can. Right now, good shielding materials
are just too heavy to get into space, and scientists are a long way from making
an anti-cosmic radiation medicine. As people get more serious about going to Mars, though,
researchers are looking into every possibility. These kind of studies are good reminders that
space exploration is more than just building big rockets: We also need to learn
how to take care of the people on board. But someday, when we’re walking around on Mars
or maybe even Planet 9, it will all be worth it. Thanks for watching this episode
of SciShow Space News! If you’d like to help us make more episodes
like, you can go to And to all of our current patrons, thank you! Our team couldn’t do all of this without
you. [♪ OUTRO]


100 thoughts on “New Evidence for Planet 9! | SciShow News”

  • "New Evidence for Planet 9!" is a misleading title. Mostly, this video is about the dangers of space travel. We were swindled. THUMB DOWN

  • There's also a planet at the edge of our solar system, and several dwarf planets between Pluto and said planet. That planet at the edge of our Solar System is the inspiration for that wacko scientist and his 'Nemisis' Binary Star System he thinks we may be in, as it's rare for a star of our kind to NOT be binary. So there has always been 9 planets. More so when Pluto was rightfully named our 9th planet.


  • First time I've watched your videos and I'm impressed with the quality and, particularly, the verbal skills of the presenter. But allow me to correct a statement made in this one: 80 AU is not 80 times farther than one AU, it's 79 times farther. It is 80 times as far. What's the difference? Think of the difference between 50% farther and 50% as far. It's a common error, but it should be avoided on a science-based channel.

  • 1st evidence for planet 9: Many ancient civilizations wrote stories about it and engraved them on stone and pressed them into clay.

  • MasterCorundum says:

    This just means ships and stations have to have much better shielding, and deploy their own magnetic fields. Spacecraft for long journeys cannot be cheaply made.

  • I think that word "shepherding" doesn't mean what you think it means….
    "Shepherding" means keeping things in place (the way certain moons of Saturn maintain Saturn's rings).
    These small objects were pulled out of their original orbits.
    "Resonance" and "perturbation" may be the words you're looking for.

  • John Undefined says:

    We know of nine planets. Some people merely decided to exclude Pluto for political reasons. And we know the reasons were political because if the people creating "rules" to exclude Pluto were honest about it, you would be saying "seven."

  • If they'd just bring back lead based paint they'd solve that pesky cosmic ray issue once and for all. Just think slap a couple of coats on the the old space capsule and presto change o it's fixed, but then they'll have to figure out how to keep the kids from eating it. Then they'll need to figure out how keep from killing each other once cabin fever sets in. Think of the excitement of being cooped up with six to nine people in an RV for 9 to 12 months!

  • Rhys Tal Cernunnos says:

    You mean planet 10….
    We already have 9 planets, NASA and others can kiss my ass…. Pluto is still a planet.

  • Until recently, Pluto was the 9th. So, they must have been searching for #10. Until, that is, our really smart scientists decided Pluto wasn't really a planet but something more banana shaped. But wait, they hadn't actually seen it yet. So my question is, once they actually saw that it is a fully formed sphere, why didn't they decide to call it a planet again? Maybe they thought they'd be seen as silly for changing their minds? Don't see why. Scientists are always finding they were wrong about something. Nothing new under the sun. Unless you're a scientist.

  • Probably just another Kuiper Belt Object. When they find it, they'll say it's not a planet–as if human categories matter to the Solar System. Pluto is still there & doesn't care. 🙂

  • So much for Space Force, Starfleet, or whatever until/unless the radiation problem is solved. Maybe this is another reason why the aliens haven't been landing.

  • About the radiation problem. I want to know why we can't just use magnetic fields to divert it away from the crew. It would probly need a nuclear power source (similar to the Mars rover Curiosity), but even a field strength of 2-3 Tesla (about as much as an MRI) could prevent a pretty significant portion of the radiation from our sun & elsewhere from turning our Astronauts into cancerous blobs of shredded DNA.

    It's the sort of technology that is scalable for larger vehicles in the future, where shielding obviously can't be. Though a hard walled (lead/graphene foil & not bags of goddamn water ) "safe room" at the core of a spaceship is a necessity for solar flares.

  • Water provides good shielding from particles and radiation, can be used to grow food, for drinking and as fuel for fusion reactors.

  • Christopher Sol says:

    I find it most interesting that researchers — whilst capably testing more "immediate" / shorter-term theories, seem to be neglecting an important element long posited by science —


    What do I mean?
    Here (the above video) we have (a brief discussion about) an experiment involving exposing mice to iron (heavy-ion) radiation, gamma rays, and no rays, in order to observe their near-term effects.

    While this next proposition might surely take many more years to establish significantly meaningful results, and possibly cost more over time, I'm inclined to think that exploring this avenue of research could prove fruitful…

    What about isolating 2 or 3 PAIRS of (coupled? partnered? reproductive?) mice, exposing them INITIALLY to LOWEST LEVELS of Iron radiation, on a very regular (if not (near-)"constant") basis, and observing any changes to DNA or cell structure or behaviour, etc etc etc in the medium-long term..?

    Allow them to reproduce amongst themselves (ie only Iron-irradiated; but maybe cross-reproduce with radiation-free as well, to see how the genetics "play out" in the offspring, post-radiation)..

    And THEN – most crucially – continue to keep ALL the offspring of irradiated mice under the same "low level radiation" conditions for the first months of observation, eventually increasing the radiation slightly (but "significantly"), in order to attempt to trigger further EVOLUTION against the radiation…

    If, after 3 (or 4 or 5, etc!) generations, there's absolutely NO improvement in the mice's physiologies with respect to the effects of the radiation between the oldest and youngest generations — this, presuming the older ones lived long enough for comparisons to be made, or at least have had measurements taken at specific age-milestones, to be compared to next generations' measurements at similar milestones — it may at least give us something else to consider, with respect to the science of EVOLUTION . . .

    … but if we DO FIND some signs of Evolution, with respect to combating radiative effects, then I propose that a WHOLE NEW AVENUE of research can be opened up — *EVOLVING* DEFENSES.

    Current DNA/genetics & Stem Cell research has allowed us to start re-growing (small) replacement body parts and/or skin (grafts). It already "takes time" for some of these results to be completed.

    Current "evidence" of various evolutions include populations who live most of their lives at higher altitudes, in which the air is thinner, and yet they are fit and healthy; "gym-bunnies" whose frequent exercises accustom their skeletal & muscular structures to the increasing workloads they take on; frequent deep-sea divers whose combined use of breathing apparatus and the need to work against increasing pressures of depth help them to become stronger in those situations . . . even "sun worshippers" who love to get natural tans (while risking skin cancer) develop, over time, a darker natural skin tone which helps to reduce the risk of (solar radiation) burning … and this, how? Through the *increased regularity of exposure* to such challenges against current physiology, causing some noticeable degree of "defenses" developing (for lack of a better word).

    Why could it not be the same for exposure to Heavy-Ion / Iron Radiation?
    Start with a little; increase it over time; observe & measure; compare; draw conclusions…?

    Obviously, I'm no professional scientist… I'm just "thinking out loud" here. 😉
    Quite happy for as many holes as you like to be poked through my thoughts.
    (I could always stand to learn something I don't already know, or better understand anything I may only know a little about.. Open-Minded is a state I'd say I "enjoy" being in.)
    Thank you for .. tolerating(?) this longer post! 😀

  • Could we possibly generate a small magnetic field around our ship, or at least the living quarters on the ship, and protect ourselves that way?

  • Born yesterday ? Up until recently we had nine . (Pluto, remember) SO , for just a short while we have been looking for a replacement ! (Now I'll watch the rest)(found a collection of dribble )

  • Eric Zetterlund says:

    I'm not one of the "Pluto is a planet" people, but it should still be called 'Planet X'. Or just call it by its name, Nibiru, cuse nobody says "let's take a trip from Planet 3 to Planet 4."

  • If it weren't so sad it'd be so hilarious to see the groundless pontificating that masquerades as "science" these days; rational people (the few there are) understand that appealing to "experts" (e.g. "scientists/researchers") is a logical fallacy of irrational bigotry. Duke University has to fork over millions for their bogus "research" fraud penalty but if the truth were told they'd have lots of company from the "scientific" community; no danger of that these days. How ironic today's so-called "scientists" condemn/write off creationists for their "religion" while sweeping the vile frauds and perfidy of their own under the rug expecting their fools won't notice, doing it for $ sex & power, truth be damned. Creationist Galileo was a real scientists who exposed the "consensus" of his day as false by hard, observed data, unlike today's groundless fantasies of bigoted, antiChristian useful idiocy that depends on censorship, lies and fraud to maintain their vile hegemony. Read C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy for how that will turn out and see for real science, unlike the hogwash of corrupt universities like Duke. Sad.

  • Buck Starchaser says:

    It would seem that the bulk of the radiation felt by a flight to Mars would be coming from our own sun. If that's true, then The bulk of the heavy shielding could be focused in the direction of the incoming radiation. This may even make it possible to use less shielding if you put it far from the ship, like on a pole. You'd be in the enlarged shadow of that shield, I suspect. Water is also supposedly a very good shield against some types of radiation.

    So, a deflector magnet on a long truss to keep some types of radiation away from the ship's hull, and a plate of Pykrete closer to the hull. The crew uniform would incorporate sealed sponges or gel to hold water around vital areas. The ship's drinking/cooling/'used' water storage areas would surround the sleeping compartments. Wherever possible, construction materials used in the ship and its equipment would be made of or coated with radiation-weakening materials.

    Sounds more like fun engineering than worry-fuel.

  • Matthew Harris-Levesque says:

    Yeah, but Magnetic Field propulsion will solve that problem…. right? Right? Right. Right! Get on that, Sci-Show.

  • Jari Haukilahti says:

    Now Nasa has to invent that astronauts has to sleep together in long row with the first guy sleeping with the feet in the direction to the sun , and next beside him or with feets on his head eg they use their bodies as the radiation shield women and children in the inner row men outside then the wasteproducts next around the ship or a sheild.

  • spencer kenney says:

    its amazing we can see a 200 mile diameter rock that has a 40,000 year orbital peeiod but cant find a planet 10 times our mass

  • Scott Hedrick says:

    All the evidence needed for Planet 9 was collected on July 14, 2015. For a science channel, it's surprising the editors didn't know this.

  • Jamar Williams says:

    So what if…just what if an advanced type three civilization is on planet nine and can only interact with us when the planet gets it's closest to ours in it's orbit around the sun??…? What if last time it was close enough our ancestors documented out of worldly visitors?? Just what if of course…

  • First statement made was incorrect by all means. "We know of 8 planets… for over a century been looking for number 9"…. it was found, then stripped from its title.

    I remember quite well on an episode of Blue's Clues, they counted all of the planets, making a song from it, ending it with "Pluto IS the smallest"…

    Couldn't watch the rest, but I'm NoBody

  • Brett A McGuire says:

    When. Did they decided. Pluto wasn't a planet. For years they told us about are solar system and the nine planet that includes Pluto and. all the planet includes us. circle the sun same direction which. Idiot scientists. Try make something out nothing that. We already have a 9 planet and it Pluto.

  • Charlan Pennington says:

    There are shots of the planets and moons, hidden behind the chemtrailing, on The final days. One is retrograde, very weird. The moons spin so much faster than ours it is disorienting. Contrast helps visability some, these shots were mostly clear befor the old channel was caught exposing the planets and destroyed, yes there were threats.

  • andi_ vienna says:

    english is not my first language, maybe i didnt get all right. but as you said if we leave our planet, the rays would cause damage to our bodys, shields are too heavy to take them with us in space… but how did the nasa solve that problem during the apollo missions??
    i mean it was just a 3 or 4 day mission, but also heavy rays in space and the van allen belt…

  • David Mayhall says:

    Create a spinning ship and place a strong magnetic field around the ship creating shields like electrostatic shielding that reflects particles and use a grabber magnet to grab particles that could be dangerous . A electrolyte static shield like the fuzz on a old TV tube you could feel it with your hand ✋ ever notice the back of a old TV? Packed with dust particles. Static magnetic shields will work. Call me and I'll help you build them😁

  • Is it possible planet 9 could have something to do with the cataclysmic events every 20000 years? This would explain everything..

  • Instead of trying to find something heavy to shield the spacecraft or medicine to protect the astronauts why not make an artificial magnetic field around the ship. You said that the earth's magnetic field is what protects us now sooo…..

  • so that 9th planet is very far from sun so there must low sun light and thats why aliens probably live there bcs they have big eyes which is adapted for darkness !

  • The Sun doesn't
    "wobble" enough to support the proposed Planet 9. Each planet in the
    Solar System exerts a force on the Sun which pushes the Sun a prescribed
    distance away from the Solar System Barycenter. These distances are
    known and shown via NASA's JPL Horizons ephemeris. If Planet 9 existed
    it would push the Sun over double the current distance to the SSB as
    currently shown via JPL Horizons.

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