Essentially from the originationof comets we can discern a statistical anomaly that supports the plausibilityof a distant large gas planet capable of been the distant comet engine. If true and valid, it should also give us aparticular sector of the sky to search since the orbit will be very long andslow. For that reason I am stillskeptical. It should be obvious fromthese tentative statistics.
Alternatively we are dealing withhugely elongigated orbit, yet that may not give us this signature. Disturbances in the Oort cloud could wellhave taken place millennia ago and we are seeing late arrivals when the effectsare damped down.
Such a planet on an elliptical orbitthat is nearly circular would also be sweeping the Oort cloud clean inside itsorbit and that is certainly not happening. Thus a rare pass from a planet on a long orbit that arrives every few millenniaseems far more likely. Of course thefocal point for comets would also be drifting and be hard to back track notknowing the planet’s orbit.
And we have the additionalcomplication that the sun orbits through the Sirius cluster every 180,000 yearsor so.
At the end of the day this is real confirmation that all these conjectures are not a waste of time. Something is really out there that we do not know yet.
Largest planet in the solar system could be about to be discovered- and it's up to four times the size of Jupiter
Last updated at 9:52 AM on 14th February 2011
Scientists believe they may have found a new planet in the far reachesof the solar system, up to four times the mass of Jupiter.
Its orbit would be thousands of times further from the Sun than theEarth's - which could explain why it has so far remained undiscovered.
Data which could prove the existence of Tyche, a gas giant in the outerOort Cloud, is set to be released later this year - although some believe proofhas already been garnered by Nasa with its pace telescope, Wise, and is waitingto be pored over.
A new world? Astronomers believe a huge gas giant may be within theremote Oort Cloud region
Prof Daniel Whitmire from the
Universityof Louisiana at believes the data may prove Tyche'sexistence within two years. Lafayette
He told the Independent: 'If it does, [fellow astrophysicist Prof JohnMatese] and I will be doing cartwheels. And that's not easy at our age.'
He added he believes it will mainly be made of hydrogen and helium,with an atmosphere like Jupiter's, with spots and rings and clouds, adding:'You'd also expect it to have moons. All the outer planets have them.'
He believes the planet is so huge, it will have a raised temperatureleft from its formation that will make it far higher than others, such asPluto, at -73C, as 'it takes an object this size a long time to cool off'.
Isolated: The Oort Cloud, where Tyche is believed to be, is a spherewith a radius of one light year
He and Prof Matese first suggested Tyche existed because of the anglecomets were arriving, with a fifth of the expected number since 1898 enteringhigher than expected.
However, Tyche - if it exists - should also dislodge comets closer tohome, from the inner Oort Cloud, but they have not been seen.
If confirmed, the status and name of the new planet - which wouldbecome the ninth and potentially the largest - would then have to be agreed bythe International Astronomical
Currently named Tyche, from the Greek goddess that governed the destinyof a city, its name may have to change, as it originated from a theory whichhas now been largely abandoned.
Solar System’s “Planet X” Tyche
Researchers propose new planet "Tyche" on distant fringe ofsolar system. Inner planets on this diagram are too close to the Sun to see. (Credit:Ben McGee)
Our solar system may have just gotten a lot more interesting.Researchers studying the orbits of comets at the
have found a problem. -They’ve discovered an inconsistency with howcomets are spread out compared to what you would expect under ordinary galacticconditions. In an article recently submitted to the journal Icarus, they propose the existence of another behemothplanet orbiting far beyond Pluto along the outskirts of the OortCloud (a huge sphere of proto-comets that surrounds the solarsystem) and that this proposed planet, Tyche, is responsible for what theysee. University of Louisiana
This calls to mind another similar hypothesis based on the apparentlycyclical nature of mass extinctions throughout Earth’s history and ongeologic evidence from the Moon.
Called the Nemesis theory, it proposes that our solar systemis actually a binary star system, and that the Sun’s twin is a small, dim, reddwarf star named Nemesisorbiting far beyond the Oort cloud. Asthe theory goes, Nemesis passes close enough to the Oort cloud tosend a deadly rain of comets into the inner solar system every few-score-millionyears or so. The name here is completely appropriate, as those familiarwith Greek Mythology will recall that Nemesis is thegoddess of Retribution.
While the Tyche and Nemesis models are clearlydifferent proposals, the researchers offering the new proposal are aware of thesimilarities. According to Greek Mythology, Tyche is Nemesis’sgood sister, the goddess of Fortune and Luck. Say what you will about thepenchant of astronomers to lean on mythology