Planet Nine Might Not Be The Culprit For The Strange Orbits Of Distant Solar System Objects

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At the edges of the Solar System, well beyond Neptune, the space objects populating that regions have some strange orbits, puzzling the astronomers. Scientists do not know why is that happening, and many theories have popped up, and one of them says that Planet Nine, a mysterious, distant and undetected world, also dubbed as Nibiru by some, is causing the strange movements of the distant Solar System objects.

In a new study, scientists concluded that Planet Nine or Nibiru might not be the culprit for the strange orbits of those space objects that populate the outer reaches of the Solar System. Instead, the irregular movements of those small space rocks could happen because of the gravitational pulls of a multitude of space objects within the Kuiper Belt, which are also known as Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs).

“The Planet Nine hypothesis is a fascinating one, but if the hypothesized ninth planet exists, it has so far avoided detection,” said Antranik Sefilian of the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Planet Nine Might Not Be The Culprit For The Strange Orbits Of Distant Solar System Objects

“We thought, rather than allowing for a ninth planet, and then worry about its formation and unusual orbit, why not simply account for the gravity of small objects constituting a disk beyond the orbit of Neptune and see what it does for us?” asked Sefilian.

Therefore, Sefilian and his co-author, Jihad Touma of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, created a computer model of those distant space objects clusters, in which they added the gravitational forces exerted by the planets of the Solar System, too. “If you remove Planet Nine from the model, and instead allow for lots of small objects scattered across a wide area, collective attractions between those objects could just as easily account for the eccentric orbits we see in some TNOs,” added Sefilian.

“It’s also possible that both things could be true [TNOs clusters and Planet Nine] – there could be a massive disk [of TNOs] and a ninth planet. With the discovery of each new TNO, we gather more evidence that might help explain their behavior,” Sefilian concluded.


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