According to NPR, there might be a ninth planet, "lurking in the distant reaches of our solar system," which appears to be "affecting the orbits of distant, icy bodies." Meanwhile, researchers from Caltech report finding evidence of this planet's existence, which circles the sun once every 15,000 years.
"They were pointing out that there was something funny going on in the outer solar system, but nobody could really understand what it was," says Brown. "Ever since they pointed it out we've been scratching our heads."
The idea of a huge, hidden planet seemed kind of crazy. "No one really took it very seriously," says Brown. "It was ignored more than you might guess."
But he walked a few doors down to meet with Batygin and suggested they take this on. As they studied the freaky way that these objects lined up in space, Brown says, they realized that "the only way to get these objects to line up in one direction is to have a massive planet lined up in the other direction."
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