Strange Orbits of distant objects in our solar system might have nothing to do with Planet Nine

Researchers have theorized that far away from us in our solar system there might be a mysterious planet, dubbed Planet 9, orbiting. One of the things that some scientists have used to support the theory of Planet 9 is the odd orbits of some small objects in our distant solar system. Cambridge University researchers working with scientists from the American University of Beirut have a new theory.

The researchers propose that a disc made of small icy bodies have a combined mass ten times more than the Earth could be responsible for the strange orbits of some objects. The scientists say that when you combine that disc of small bodies with a simple model of the solar system, the gravitational forces behind the disc can account for the unusual orbits of some objects in the outer reaches of our solar system.

This isn't the first theory to put forth the possibility of a massive disc made of small objects. It is the first to theorize the mass and gravity of some small objects in the distant solar system could avoid the need for a ninth planet to explain erratic orbits of objects.

These small objects are in the Kuiper Belt and are leftovers from the creation of the solar system. These objects are said to circle the Sun in nearly-circular orbits from almost all directions. The Planet 9 theory has to do with some of the objects in the belt traveling in highly elliptical orbits.

They have on average the same spatial orientation. The odd orbits could not be explained by our existing eight-planet solar system architecture, leading to the theory of a ninth planet.

"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," said study co-author Antranik Sefilian, who is a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a member of Darwin College. Scientists admit that both the ninth planet theory and their new theory could be right.