Earlier this year, strong evidence for the existence of a massive, undiscovered planet that orbits beyond the reaches of Pluto was presented by the California Institute of Technology, having run detailed computer simulations of the orbits of known trans-Neptunian objects. The simulations showed that the existing orbits of these objects couldn’t follow their current paths without the presence of another planet, approximately ten times the mass of the Earth, with an orbit that comes no closer than 30.5 billion km (19 billion miles) to the Sun.
Now, a new study has been released by another team from Caltech, theorizing that the presence of Planet Nine could also have a major effect on the eight larger planets that make up the solar system. The orbits of all of these planets, from Mercury to Neptune, lie more-or-less in a flat plane in relation to one another, but the Sun’s axis is tilted slightly in relation to the other planets’ orbits by six degrees. This discrepancy has never been properly explained by science, but study author Elizabeth Bailey says that the suspected dramatic tilt of Planet Nine’s orbit may account for the Solar System’s wobble.
"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," Bailey explains.
"It continues to amaze us; every time we look carefully we continue to find that Planet Nine explains something about the solar system that had long been a mystery," says Konstantin Batygin, co-author of the earlier computer modeling study that pointed toward the far-flung planet’s existence. It also amazed Zechariah Sitchin…30 years ago.