U.S. astronomers have found new evidence of the existence of a hypothetical ninth planet in the Solar system. They confirmed that the clustering of the orbits of Kuiper Belt objects is not the result of a systematic observation error and can indeed be caused by a massive object or planet X that has not yet been discovered. This is reported in an article published in the arXiv preprint repository.
The authors of the new work considered the possibility of biased data, but even in this case, the clustering of orbits is statistically unusual. The probability that it is a consequence of chance is only 0.4 percent. This also allowed the researchers to more accurately determine the location of the likely orbit of the ninth planet. It turned out that it should be a little closer to the Sun than originally thought. And if the planet exists, it should be detected with the help of the Vera Rubin Observatory, which will be commissioned in 2022.
Back in 2016, American astronomers Michael Brown and Konstantin Batygin studied the statistical distribution of the orbits of Kuiper belt objects and concluded that clustering should be caused by an external planet that is not currently open. According to their calculations, this object has a mass of five Earths and is about ten times more distant from the Sun than Neptune.