A huge planet might be hiding at the edge of our solar system and causing it to wobble, according to scientists.
Planet Nine – a hypothesised but not yet proven planet at the outer end of our neighbourhood – might be responsible for the unusual tilt of the sun, according to a new study.
The huge planet, sitting at such a distance away, might be adding a slight wobble to our own solar system. Scientists have long been confused about why we and the rest of the planets appear to be at a jaunty angle when compared with the sun, and the mysterious planet appears to explain why.
All of the planets of our solar system sit roughly flat with respect to the sun, all orbiting around it just a couple of degrees apart at most. But that plane rotates at a strange, roughly six-degree tilt when compared with the sun – making it appear as if our star has been tilted or is wonky.
Until now, scientists didn’t know why that was happening. “It's such a deep-rooted mystery and so difficult to explain that people just don't talk about it,” said Mike Brown, who helped predict Planet Nine.
But if the mysterious planet does exist does exist, as hypothesised, it could explain the strange behaviour.