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Planet Nine does exist in solar system: NASA

Planet Nine does exist in solar system: NASA

The elusive ‘Planet Nine’ does exist, and may be 10 times the mass of the Earth and 20 times away from the Sun than Neptune. Planet Nine could turn out to be our solar system’s missing ‘super Earth’ — a planet with a mass higher than the Earth’s, but substantially lower than the masses of ice giants Uranus and Neptune.

The signs so far are indirect, mainly its gravitational footprints, but that adds up to a compelling case nonetheless. There are now five different lines of observational evidence pointing to the existence of Planet Nine.

Five observational evidences

Out of five evidences, the first three were described in a January 2016 paper, published in the Astronomical Journal by astrophysicists Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown. These are

Firstly, six known objects in the distant Kuiper Belt, a region of icy bodies stretching from Neptune outward toward interstellar space, all have elliptical orbits pointing in the same direction. That would be unlikely – and suspicious – enough.

Secondly, these orbits also are tilted the same way, about 30 degrees "downward" compared to the pancake-like plane within which the planets orbit the sun.

Thirdly, Computer simulations of the solar system with Planet Nine included show there should be more objects tilted with respect to the solar plane. In fact, the tilt would be on the order of 90 degrees, as if the plane of the solar system and these objects formed an "X" when viewed edge-on.

Fourthly, Planet Nine could have tilted the planets of our solar system during the last 4.5 billion years. This could explain a longstanding mystery: Why is the plane in which the planets orbit tilted about 6 degrees compared to the sun's equator?

Lastly, the telltale sign of Planet Nine's presence involves the solar system's contrarians: objects from the Kuiper Belt that orbit in the opposite direction from everything else in the solar system. Planet Nine's orbital influence would explain why these bodies from the distant Kuiper Belt end up "polluting" the inner Kuiper Belt.

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