Does Planet 9 Exist?
A planet has been predicted to orbit the sun with a period of 10,000 years, a mass 5x that of Earth on a highly elliptical and inclined orbit. What evidence supports the existence of such a strange object at the edge of our solar system?
I had heard about Planet 9 for a long time but I wondered what sort of evidence could support the bold claim: a planet at the very limits of our ability to detect one, so far out that its period is over 60 times that of Neptune.
The planet 9 hypothesis helps explain clustering of orbits of distant Kuiper belt objects. It also explains how some of these objects have highly inclined orbits - up to 90 degrees relative to the plane of the solar system. Some are orbiting in reverse. Plus their orbits are removed from the orbit of Neptune, the logical option for a body that could have ejected them out so far.
The fact that the perihelion is so far out suggests another source of gravity was essential for their peculiar orbits.