A tiny planet may hold the key to one of the most interesting mysteries: the supposed existence of Planet 9, an elusive giant that resides near the boundaries of our solar system.
In the span of the last decade several astronomers revealed their own theories about the existence of the planet. Some believe that its mass is ten times larger in comparison to Earth, on par with the one of the ice giants.
It is believed that Planet 9 orbits around the Sun but it follows a different route, employing an elliptical orbit that takes it up to 20 times farther from the sun, a huge increase if we look at the orbit of Neptune, which was previously thought to be the most distant. According to official estimations Planet 9 needs between 10,000 and 20,000 years in order to complete a full orbital cycle around the Sun.
Current telescopes are unable to spot the planet since it is too distant. However, planets as big as Planet 9 should exert a gravitational pull that is able to influence nearby objects. This theory is reinforced by Newton’s law of universal gravitation. The law stipulates that the gravitational forces between two objects are determined by their masses. It can be said without a doubt that the object with a bigger mass is able to influence an object with a smaller mass.
Those that believe in the existence of Planet 9 argue that the law of universal gravitation proves the very existence of the planet, since some researchers managed to discover several objects that follow an interesting orbit.
These objects can be found in the inner area of the Oort Cloud, a bizarre region that encircles the solar system. The orbit patterns share several similarities, a fact that suggests the existence of a shared influence. A small planet known as the Goblin is currently being studied and the researchers already know that the planet is situated beyond the area of influence exercised by the known planets of the solar system.
Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here