So, as it turns out, our sun has no qualms when it comes to nabbing planets from other suns.
The mysterious “Planet Nine” that has transfixed the astronomical community for months now is widely considered by leading astronomers to be an exoplanet, meaning it is native to another solar system and was pulled into ours by way of the sun’s gravitational pull.
While it hasn’t been officially proven that the celestial mass lying in the outer realm of the solar system is indeed a planet, it is believed that the sun began its pull on the object 4.5 billion years ago.
The projected orbit of the planet is 20 times that of Neptune, meaning its full revolution around the sun would take between 10,000 and 20,000 Earth years.
While much mystery still remains concerning Planet Nine, it will be interesting to see what becomes of it. The broad-based questions that it raises are interesting, as well.
Could planets in our solar system, such as the dwarf planet Pluto, ever be pulled out of orbit by a stronger star? Could the Earth’s orbit ever be misaligned severely enough by the gravitational pull of another sun that it permanently altered life on this planet as we know it?
While it is highly doubtful that any of us will be around to find out, it is fascinating (and a bit frightening) to think that such things could really happen. Let Planet Nine serve as a reminder that the universe is infinitely vast and just as infinitely unpredictable.