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Mystery In Solar System Could Be Explained by 'Planet 9'

Oct 24, 2016 05:18 AM EDT
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Artist's impression supplied by the ESO (European Southern Observatory) on April 25, 2007, the planetary system around the red dwarf, Gliese 581.
(Photo : ESO (European Southern Observatory), handout/Getty Images)

Calculations by researchers at Caltech suggest that the peculiarity in our solar system such as the tilt in the solar system could be because of the "Planet 9."

The "Planet 9" theory was first proposed in January by Caltech researchers Konstantin Batygin and Mike " Brown. It suggested that the ninth planet would possess a highly tilted orbit, leading to another study to find out if the ninth planet is responsible for the tilt in the entire solar system except the sun.

The area in which the eight major planets orbit the sun is tilted by about 6 degrees compared to the sun's equator. Until now, no gripping explanation has been made with regards to the inclination.

The calculations on the recent research, also participated by Batygin and Brown suggests said that the gigantic hidden planet beyond Neptune with an orbit set 30 degrees off the other planets' orbits is indeed to be accounted for.

"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," says Elizabeth Bailey, a graduate student at Caltech said in a press release published on Phys.org.

According to Space.com, the computer simulations performed by the team propose that the tilt of the eight official planets can be explained by the gravitational influence of Planet Nine "over the 4.5-billion-years-ish lifetime of the solar system," Bailey told the news site.

Although there are other possible explanations for the tilt, the "Planet 9" theory is the only thing that does not require early conditions.

If the ninth planet is so massive, as in that about 10 times the size of Earth, then why hasn't anyone seen it? The Guardian notes that according to the researchers, it could have escaped a telescope's notice because of its extreme distance from the sun. One year on the never before seen planet is 17,000 years on earth.

Because the ninth planet is too far away, Brown said it might took them to finally locate the unseen planet.

The calculations were presented at the annual meeting of planetary scientists of the American Astronomical Society.

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