Niku, the newly discovered large chunk of ice orbiting the Sun in a weird orbit is the latest find in the solar system that has astronomers excited.
If you're wondering what about this object with a Pokemonish name is exciting to astronomers, the answer is nothing really! But the path it takes around the sun is what has astronomers training their scopes at it. Niku is said to be inclined in a manner unlike any other planet, far beyond Neptune and is swinging around the sun backward.
This rather odd orbit of the icy object, estimated around to measure 120 miles in diameter, has earned its name Niku - Chinese for rebel. Researchers who discovered the object using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System in Hawaii also noticed that its inclination is changing. The inclination of the object with respect to a hypothetical plane of the solar system is around 110 degrees. The Earth is at 0 degrees.
Astronomers are excited for this find threw up the possibility of a mystery planet 9, ten times more massive than Earth. The odd orbit of Niku, suggested it may have been knocked off by a larger object. For now Niku is beyond the influence of any such mystery planet for it is said to be far, far away.
The buzz around Niku however refuses to quieten. Along with the rebel object, researchers also spotted at least five other objects behaving in odd ways. Though such behavior remains beyond explanation for now, astronomers are certain of mysterious happenings in the far reaches of our solar system.