February 16, 2011
John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, astrophysicists from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, think data gathered from NASA’s Wise telescope will reveal a ninth planet orbiting in the Oort cloud, captured from another solar system by the sun’s gravity.
Whether it would become the new ninth planet would be decided by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The main argument against is that Tyche probably formed around another star and was later captured by the Sun’s gravitational field. The IAU may choose to create a whole new category for Tyche, Professor Matese said.
Tyche will almost certainly be made up mostly of hydrogen and helium and will probably have an atmosphere much like Jupiter’s, with colourful spots and bands and clouds, Professor Whitmire said. “You’d also expect it to have moons. All the outer planets have them,” he added.