The Search for Planet Nine

This is a very good documentary by the BBC.

I’d heard that certain astronomers had announced that they’d found evidence for a ninth planet in the solar system that wasn’t Pluto, but it didn’t seem to be a big deal. It seemed to be just speculation, and we were a long way from finding hard proof. And, really, how interesting could a new planet be?

But as this short documentary shows, using a very simple but effective format, evidence of a ninth planet in our solar system is more than just speculation. It is a big deal. And we may be able to observe it directly within the next few years — astronomers are actively looking, and have a pretty good idea of where it is.

Planet Nine is a weird planet, with a wildly elliptical orbit, 200 astronomical units away from the sun at its closet approach. Its discovery will tell us much about the early days of the solar system and answer key questions about how it formed.

And I really have to hand it to these science reporters at the BBC for presenting this fascinating topic in a calm, nuanced way that manages to convey how exciting the discovery of a new ninth planet should be. I suggest you watch it!

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