Mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ tilts entire solar system: study
The hypothetical "Planet Nine," which has been bewildering scientists ever since they detected evidence for its potential existence in January this year, might have tilted our entire solar system, a new study suggested.
Some scientists believe that Planet Nine exists, and it is nearly ten times Earth's mass and that it orbits the sun at a distance as many as 500 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.
A team of researchers led by Renu Malhotra, a Regents' Professor of Planetary Sciences in the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Lab, found in the new study that the hypothetical planet possess a highly tilted orbit that might have tilted the whole solar system except the Sun.
However, the study's lead author Elizabeth Bailey, an astrophysicist from Pasadena-based California Institute of Technology, admitted that it is really hard to explain and test why the solar system is tilted.
Speaking on the topic, Bailey said, ""Planet Nine may have tilted the other planets over the lifetime of the solar system. However, all these other ways to explain why the solar system is tilted are really hard to test - they all invoke processes that were possibly present really early in the solar system."
The findings of the new study were shared at the joint 48th meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society and the 11th European Planetary Science Congress in Pasadena, California.