Science and Health

NASA's WISE Mission Finds New Stars, But No 'Planet X'

NASA announced Friday that its Wide-Field Inferred Survey Explorer, otherwise known as WISE, wasn't able to locate the hypothetical "Planet X."

NASA's WISE Mission Finds New Stars, But No 'Planet X'
DSS / NASA / JPL-Caltech
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Sorry, "Planet X" believers, but NASA has some bad news for you.

The space agency announced Friday that its Wide-Field Inferred Survey Explorer, otherwise known as WISE, wasn't able to locate the massive hypothetical planet. (Via NASA)

According to LiveScience, researchers previously believed they had found evidence that a planet four times the size of Earth was orbiting the edges of the solar system past Pluto.

Now, scientists couldn't actually find this headline-making, theoretical planet. But they thought its existence could provide an explanation for the strange orbits of small icy objects located past Neptune. So NASA sent WISE on a mission to locate the planet and prove the theory.

But according to Space.com, WISE scanned the skies with infrared light, and it didn't find any sign of "Planet X."

According to a paper outlining the WISE data, "The outer solar system does not contain a large gas giant planet, or a small companion star." (Via NASA)

But it wasn't all in vain, as The Wire points out. WISE did find thousands of new stars and brown dwarfs during its search for "Planet X" — 3,525, to be exact.

Scientists say the data collected during the WISE mission could uncover even more undiscovered bodies. So, "Planet X" didn't mark the spot, but at least NASA got something out of it.