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Space & Astronomy

Could Planet Nine explain sun tilt mystery ?

By T.K. Randall
October 25, 2016 · Comment icon 19 comments

Is there a giant planet lurking in the outer reaches of the solar system ? Image Credit: NASA
A large planet lurking in the outer solar system could be causing the sun's rotational axis to tilt.
Nobody knows exactly where it is, how big it is or if it even exists at all, but when researchers at the California Institute of Technology revealed earlier this year that the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system was a very real possibility, the hunt for this enigmatic new world began in earnest.

Now Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, the scientists who originally proposed the planet's existence, have come forward once again to offer up further evidence.

Their findings, which were presented this week at the annual meeting of planetary scientists of the American Astronomical Society, suggest that Planet Nine's enormous size could be causing the solar system to "wobble" and the sun's rotational axis to tilt - a phenomenon that has itself remained a mystery for the better part of two centuries.
"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," said lead author Elizabeth Bailey.

According to Brown, there is a good chance that Planet Nine will be tracked down and directly observed by telescopes within as little as 16 months.

"I think that there'll be enough people looking for it that... somebody's actually going to track this down," he said. "[At the] next one of these (conferences) we'll be talking about finding Planet Nine instead of just looking for it."

Source: | Comments (19)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Chris1888 8 years ago
Anyone know why we cant see a planet in our own solar system but we have telescopes that can see planets on other solar systems.
Comment icon #11 Posted by XenoFish 8 years ago
If it's Planet X that means I can finally go home.
Comment icon #12 Posted by third_eye 8 years ago
Remember to pack extra undies ... ~
Comment icon #13 Posted by Rhinopolis 8 years ago
I'm no expert, and I believe that in this instance it has to do with how "planet nine" most of its orbit is positioned behind the sun and outside of the range that we can see. There be a whole lot of vastness out there in space to be looking at.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Calibeliever 8 years ago
We haven't been able to "see" planets in other solar systems. We have only been able to infer them by either a) observing their gravitational effect on their sun by creating a tiny wobble, or b ) observing a slight dimming of their sun as they pass in front of it. The problem with observing an object within our own system so far away is there is little to no light reflecting off it. Finding an object that dim in the vast area beyond our known planet's orbits (even a massive one) is going to take a lot of patience and more than a little luck.
Comment icon #15 Posted by qxcontinuum 8 years ago
like exact what the article and research says 
Comment icon #16 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
This might be is some help: LINK - Planet Nine' Can't Hide Much Longer, Scientists Say
Comment icon #17 Posted by psyche101 8 years ago
It does seem prudent to separate reality from Fantasy here. 
Comment icon #18 Posted by Rlyeh 8 years ago
Says no such thing. Maybe you'd like to quote the article?
Comment icon #19 Posted by smokeycat 8 years ago
Planet IX surely...    

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