NASA WISE survey finds no Planet X beyond Pluto

In 2011, a pair of physicists from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette announced that they had completed research that suggested another planet orbiting in a solar system beyond Pluto. The two professors called the theoretical planet Planet X or Tyche. The duo hoped that when NASA completed its WISE or Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer observations the planet would be confirmed.

NASA is now reporting that a new analysis of data captured by WISE has revealed no evidence that the hypothetical planet exists. NASA researchers says that no Saturn-sized planet or larger was observable at up to 10,000 astronomical units away and no planets of Jupiter-size or larger were observable at 26,000 au away.

An astronomical unit is the distance between the sun and the Earth, about 93 million miles. Tyche is believed to be a gas giant about four times larger than Jupiter in the area of the Oort Cloud that would affect the orbits of a pair of comets.

Planet X is believed to be about 15,000 times further from the sun than the Earth and would be very dim and difficult to see. The researchers that theorized Planet X are John Matese and Daniel Whitmire. The duo says that it would have been nice for the WISE survey to confirm their theory, but not finding the planet in the survey doesn't mean it doesn't exist.