Ever since we have earned textbook knowledge about the solar system, we have learnt that the sun is placed in the center of it and the planets revolve around it. However, the universe is an ever-growing topic which can astonish us with new studies and discoveries every now and then. One of these latest studies seems to be changing our perception about the sun being the center of our solar system.
James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at the Japanese space agency, JAXA, has made an animation video to explain how the sun, along with other planets and terrestrial objects, orbit around the solar system center of mass.
He demonstrated that the centre of mass, called the barycenter, helps in balancing the object, distributing its mass evenly on all sides. The precise gravitational centre or barycentre of the Solar System rarely coincides with the orbit of the sun.
Here’s the video shared by O’Donoghue on his YouTube page back in April 2020, which has received over 1.18 lakh views.
He added that the sun orbits slightly around Jupiter because of the giant planet’s gravity. Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are also trying to estimate the exact location of barycentre using the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav).
"The natural thinking is that we orbit the sun’s centre, but that very rarely happens. It’s very rare for the solar system’s centre of mass to align with the sun’s centre," O’Donoghue asserted.