Pluto has been demoted from its planet status, though some dispute that. But astronomers have found evidence that there may be two actual planets beyond Pluto.
If they are definitively discovered, what should we call them? The names should be classical to fit with the others. I say name one Athena, after the goddess of wisdom, since wisdom is also elusive and hard to detect. And let’s name the other one Pluto, so that we’ll once again have a planet named Pluto.
The Solar System has at least two more planets waiting to be discovered beyond the orbit of Pluto, Spanish and British astronomers say.
The official list of planets in our star system runs to eight, with gas giant Neptune the outermost.
Beyond Neptune, Pluto was relegated to the status of “dwarf planet” by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, although it is still championed by some as the most distant planet from the Sun.
In a study published in the latest issue of the British journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers propose that “at least two” planets lie beyond Pluto.
Their calculations are based on the unusual orbital behaviour of very distant space rocks called extreme trans-Neptunian objects, or ETNOs.