Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are there still undiscovered planets in the Solar System?

Question: Is it possible that there are planets in the Solar System that we don"t know about? For example, in the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud.
Asked by: Tom Andersson

Answer: First, I should clarify that a "planet" is simply an object (that is not a moon) that orbits the Sun. There are different categories of "planet" such as a major planet (Earth/Jupiter), dwarf planet (Pluto/Ceres), and minor planet (asteroids/comets). So, technically speaking, there are plenty of undiscovered planets out there since there are still loads of undiscovered asteroids and comets.

However, when most people say "planet" they are referring to major planets, so for the duration of this article, I"ll use the two terms interchangeably. So, are there still undiscovered planets in the solar system? If we go by the traditional definition for "planet" then the answer is both ‘not really’ and ‘sure, why not’.

To read the full article, see:

Image Credit: NASA

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