Though no evidence suggests a ghostly planet exists in our stellar system, theories of the hypothetical planet, which is said to be 10 times the size of Earth, have been doing rounds for nearly two years.
"We can solve a lot of these problems just by taking into account that question".
Scientists have witnessed a bunch of "detached" celestial bodies with weird orbits in the outer edges of our solar system.
In a new study presented on June 4 at the 232nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Denver, Colorado, Madigan and her colleagues argue that it was these objects' collective gravity, and not some enigmatic unseen planet, that nudged them into their detached orbits.
Detached objects like Sedna get their name because they complete large, circular orbits that bring them nowhere close to big planets like Jupiter or Neptune. During a collision with Sidney they push the object in a distant region of the Solar system.
The researchers calculated the mass of hundreds of trans-Neptunian objects and discovered that it wouldn't be a stretch for similar bodies to create enough gravitational pull to yank objects as large as dwarf planets into freakish orbits.
This research was supported by NASA Solar System Workings and the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium Summit Supercomputer.
The explanation may come from "bumper car-like interactions" going on in the Kuiper Belt and which cause these "detached objects" to slam into each other and collide with space debris. As noted by brown and Batygin, astronomers believe their discovery when able to observe the planet through a telescope.
According to the researchers' simulations, the TNOs move like hands on a clock, with the most massive objects moving slowly, like the hour hand, and the smaller ones ticking along quickly, like the minute hand.
He said: "You see a pileup of the obits of small objects to one side of the sun. These orbits crash into the bigger body (a large TNO, not a gas giant), and what happens is those interactions will change its orbit from an oval shape to a more circular shape", he said.
"The picture we have in our head is a lot of little moons floating around the solar system, interacting with comets", Madigan told reporters yesterday during a news conference, notes Space.com. But because the largest objects are hurled into the most eccentric orbits, they become more hard to find, the researchers said.
The jostling of these asteroids and space junk might have led to other effects like regularly directing comets into the inner solar system - some of which could have headed toward Earth.
These bumper car-like interactions can explain numerous anomalies out there, without needing to invent a huge Planet Nine.
A new theory put forward by scientists can both explain this odd behaviour of dwarf planets as well as possibly explain the fate of dinosaurs, notes the report.
"The handful we've seen is not enough", Fleisig said.