An Unclaimed Son

Marked out as something that did not belong,

An oddball with a number not a name;

A newborn whose hereditary was wrong,

And with ancestry that was not the same.

Who is it that must shoulder all the blame,

The father and his lustful, wandering eye

Or naïve child all swaddled up in shame?

A bastard in an unforgiving sky;

A stranger who is lost and yet who must comply.


Artist’s impression of Planet 9 as an ice giant eclipsing the central Milky Way, with a star-like Sun in the distance. (Photo Credit: Tomruen, nagualdesign; background taken from File:ESO – Milky Way.jpg – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


This is a Spenserian stanza written about recent research, which found that Planet 9, a planet which resides within our own solar system, may in fact be an exoplanet, i.e. a planet which orbits a star other than our Sun. It is thought that our Sun, in its youth (approximately 4.5 billion years ago) stole Planet 9 from the orbit of its original star. At the moment it is unsure what Planet 9 looks like, but it is believed to be approximately ten times the mass of our Earth. This research challenges the very definition of an exoplanet, and realistically opens up the possibility of being able to send a space probe to investigate a planet that began its life outside of our solar system.

An audio version of the poem can be heard here.

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