Astronomers continue to speculate about a ninth planet of the solar system. This planet though far from us is so big enough that it affects the rest of the solar system. Astronomers have not found it yet though there is mounting evidence that the ninth planet is there.
Earlier there has been a report that the ninth planet has caused a tilt in the Sun. This has been offered as one evidence that the ninth planet could be out there. Now a new evidence suggests that it could really be there. A team from the University of Arizona has said that the ninth planet is affecting the movements of some of the objects in the Kuiper Belt.
The team is led by Renu Malhotra, Regents' Professor of Planetary Sciences in the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab. According to Science Daily his team has found four Kuiper Belt Objects whose orbits are said to be influenced by the ninth planet. These objects are known as Extreme KBOs since their orbits around the Sun are more eccentric than other KBOs.
Objects in the Kuiper Belt have their orbits influenced mostly by the giant outer planets. However, some of these have eccentric patterns, getting close to the Sun at one point and then going very far away from it on the other. This has been explained to happen because the large ninth planet is pulling these Extreme KBOs towards it.
"We analyzed the data of these most distant Kuiper Belt objects and noticed something peculiar, suggesting they were in some kind of resonance with an unseen planet," observed Malhotra. This observation has been shared by other researchers, who noted that some of the KBOs have their orbital axes pointing to the same direction, as Euro Planet reports.
While their work shows the possibility of a ninth planet, the authors caution that it in no ways shows that it is proof of a ninth planet. They point out that the KBOs have not observed for very long. More observations would have to be done to know for certain what's causing their orbits to behave that way.