'PLANET 9' - TEN TIMES THE SIZE OF EARTH - IS ‘TWISTING’ OUR SOLAR SYSTEM, SCIENTISTS SAY
Can one mysterious planet be shaping our solar system? Scientists are currently trying to answer that question. Most people are aware that the planets included in our solar system travel in orbits that are angled in comparison to the Sun. Does anyone know what causes this?
CAN ONE MYSTERIOUS PLANET BE SHAPING OUR SOLAR SYSTEM?
One culprit may be what scientists are referring to as "Planet 9." Planet 9 is an additional planet that is believed to be a part of our solar system. It is a unique planet, presumed to be traveling 20 times farther from our Sun than Neptune, at an angle that differs 30 degrees from the other planets in our solar system. (See image below)
Another important factor to take into consideration is the actual size of Planet 9 itself. Scientists speculate that the enigmatic planet is massive, about ten times the size of Earth. A planet that large would undoubtedly have an impact on our solar system if it did exist.
WHY SO MYSTERIOUS?
If Planet 9 is real, then why hasn't it officially been confirmed? How can a planet so large remain so elusive? The answer is in the length of its orbit. Scientists estimate that the average length of time that it takes Planet 9 to orbit the Sun is about 15,000 years, making it very difficult to study. That means the research will have to be ongoing for quite some time, while scientists keep an eye out in space for any signs of the mysterious giant.
A study was recently concluded which focused primarily on making more discoveries about Planet 9 in our solar system. The findings from the study will be available to the public once it is published in this month's edition of the Astrophysical Journal. Planet 9 may be incredibly cryptic, but scientist is getting closer to uncovering the truth about our solar system and planets every day.
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