Short Bytes: New Horizons has already completed its Pluto mission by surprising the world with the amazing close-up pictures of Pluto. After the amazing flyby of Pluto on July 14, it’s possible that the New Horizons probe will hunt for the mysterious Planet X beyond Pluto in Kuiper Belt.
Long back in a research paper in Nature in 2014, Sheppard and Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii said that a massive outer Solar System perturber may exist. This discovery in the report turned out to be the dwarf planet 2012 VP113 that’s much deeper into space. This new world beyond Kuiper Belt has a number of distant and large objects at a similar angle, which is very suspicious as astronomers expect to see a random distribution of objects.
This possibility of Planet X was first proposed by Percival Lowell and the mysterious planet has become a buzzword since then. It doesn’t produce its own light, so its hunting is difficult. However, the gravitational signatures have suggested the existence of such planet.
NASA writes on its website: “New Horizons will perform a series of four maneuvers in late October and early November to set its course toward 2014 MU69 – nicknamed “PT1” (for “Potential Target 1”) – which it expects to reach on January 1, 2019. Any delays from those dates would cost precious fuel and add mission risk.”
Conspiracy theorists too have had their own share of say in the Planet X. They say that NASA has hidden the existence of Planet X, also known as Nibiru. Our solar system is yet to be fully explored and the New Horizons is moving ahead in the deeper and darker space to do the same.
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Also read: NASA Confirmed the Discovery of Earth 2.0