A massive object appears to be having a big impact on planets in our solar system, and scientists are determined to find out what it is.
There could be a ninth planet out there, as we reported recently, and we’re not talking about Pluto. And it’s the fascinating story about how scientists have come to this conclusion that truly makes this an intriguing mystery about our solar system, from the strange behavior of objects in our solar system to the fascinating reality of the potential planet itself.
NASA issued a statement recently that suggests scientists think there’s a strong possibility that massive planet 10 times the mass of Earth and 20 times farther out than Neptune could be lurking in the depths of the solar system. It’s a theory that could help explain some very strange things scientists have been observing.
Scientists have spotted six objects in the Kuiper Belt – the huge region of icy cosmic bodies that encircles the solar system far beyond the orbits of the eight known planets – that have strange elliptical orbits pointing in generally the same direction, which seems unlikely and downright suspicious. It gets even more weird when they found that the orbits were tilted in the same way.
Then there’s the fact that scientists determined if Planet Nine did exist, more objects should be tilted, and they did indeed five more such objects.
And then there’s another longstanding mystery this planet could solve: the fact that the orbit of the planets in the solar system is tilted about 6 degrees compared to the equator of the sun.
And finally, it is utterly bizarre that objects in the Kuiper Belt orbit in the opposite direction of everything else in our solar system, which could again be explained by Planet Nine.
At this point, scientists say, it’s harder to imagine a solar system without Planet Nine than with one.