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Astronomers in the US have inferred the existence of an unknown ‘planetary mass object’ affecting the movements of space rocks in a distant asteroid belt
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It seems the Solar System may be a little more crowded than we thought: a planet around the size of Mars could be hidden among its outer fringes.
A team from the University of Arizona has discovered a mysterious mass, dubbed Planet Ten, that appears to be tugging at the orbits of a population of space rocks known as the Kuiper Belt in the icy outskirts of the Solar System.
The Kuiper Belt lies beyond the orbit of Neptune and extends to a few hundred Astronomical Units (AU) with one AU representing the distance between Earth and the Sun.
The Earth and the other major planets all orbit the Sun in roughly the same plane. However, Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are far enough away from the gravitational attraction of the gas giants to be tilted away from this plane, and are affected by interactions with one another.
This angle, known as the inclination, can be calculated. If the observed angle differs from the
of Planet Ten