Science

Planet Nine: NASA Nearing Discovery, Unseen Gas Giant Responsible For Solar System Wobble?

By Monica U Santos , Oct 23, 2016 05:12 PM EDT
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Planet Nine, a huge planet which is thought 10 times more massive than Earth, might be hiding at the edge of our solar system. According to scientists, it has remained mysteriously elusive to astronomers and causing the wobble of the planets to move at a different angle to the Sun.

Scientists have been confused for a long time about why Earth and the rest of the planets appear to be at a jaunty angle when to compared with the Sun. According to a new study, the soon to be discovered planet might be responsible for the unusual tilt.

"I'm pretty sure, I think, that by the end of next winter - not this winter, next winter - I think that there'll be enough people looking for it that ... somebody's actually going to track this down," astronomer Mike Brown said during a news conference on Oct. 19 at a joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences and the European Planetary Science Congress in Pasadena, California.

All of the planets in our solar system move around the sun on the same plane. All are orbiting around and just a couple of degrees apart at most. Planet Nine is theorized to orbit the sun at a distance 20 times farther than Neptune, which is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The distance of Planet Neptune to the sun is 4.498 billion km, farther than that is the Planet Nine.

"Because Planet Nine is so massive and has an orbit tilted compared to the other planets, the Solar System has no choice but to slowly twist out of alignment," Elizabeth Bailey, a graduate student at Caltech and lead author of a study about the tilt, said.

The huge and mysterious Planet Nine appears to be orbiting on a plane about 30 degrees off the other planets. That means that it influences a huge set of other objects and could be the effect why the solar system wobble.

 

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