Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than Jupiter could be in the Oort Cloud

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adept42 adept42's picture
Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than Jupiter could be in the Oort Cloud

From an article just posted in Science Daily:

Quote:
In November 2010, the scientific journal Icarus published a paper by astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, who proposed the existence of a binary companion to our sun, larger than Jupiter, in the long-hypothesized "Oort cloud" -- a faraway repository of small icy bodies at the edge of our solar system. The researchers use the name "Tyche" for the hypothetical planet. Their paper argues that evidence for the planet would have been recorded by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

...

Q: When could data from WISE confirm or rule out the existence of the hypothesized planet Tyche?

A: It is too early to know whether WISE data confirms or rules out a large object in the Oort cloud. Analysis over the next couple of years will be needed to determine if WISE has actually detected such a world or not. The first 14 weeks of data, being released in April 2011, are unlikely to be sufficient. The full survey, scheduled for release in March 2012, should provide greater insight. Once the WISE data are fully processed, released and analyzed, the Tyche hypothesis that Matese and Whitmire propose will be tested.

...

Q: If Tyche does exist, why would it have taken so long to find another planet in our solar system?

A: Tyche would be too cold and faint for a visible light telescope to identify. Sensitive infrared telescopes could pick up the glow from such an object, if they looked in the right direction. WISE is a sensitive infrared telescope that looks in all directions.

The Eclipse Phase Gazetteer would need a ret-con if this theory turns out to be true... unless some faction has already found Tyche and managed to hide it somehow. It would make a damn cool secret base!

The Green Slime The Green Slime's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

Tyche? You fools, it's Yuggoth!

Further reading...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/up-telescope-search-begins-for-giant-new-planet-2213119.html

The hypothesis is that it's a massive hydrogen-helium giant, and may be the force responsible for Triton's odd presence and behaviour.


Time will perfect matter.

adept42 adept42's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

Wikipedia has put up a page on it. There are plenty of skeptics, but even they concede that something as big as Tyche (four times the mass of Jupiter!) is possible.

The Green Slime The Green Slime's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

If it's 5 times bigger than Jupiter, imagine if it has a 5-fold greater coterie of moons, all exotic dwarf planets with bizarre orbits and strange Io-style geologies. What could you hide in a magnetosphere that strong?


Time will perfect matter.

Enigma32 Enigma32's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

If it gets so big, doesn't it stop being a gas giant/planet and start being a brown dwarf? Which would make Sol a binary system rather than a single star system? According to the Wikipedia article (there's a chart; as a visual learn, I love charts and graphs), Jupiter is about the upper limit for a planet. If it gets any bigger, then it becomes a brown dwarf.

Also - this could be where the Factors are hiding their base, if it does exist.

"If we succeed, we're geniuses for doing it. If we fail, we're stupid for trying it. If we succeed beyond our goal and our dreams, we're insane for reaching so high and getting there."

Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

Enigma32 wrote:
If it gets so big, doesn't it stop being a gas giant/planet and start being a brown dwarf? Which would make Sol a binary system rather than a single star system? According to the Wikipedia article (there's a chart; as a visual learn, I love charts and graphs), Jupiter is about the upper limit for a planet. If it gets any bigger, then it becomes a brown dwarf.

Also - this could be where the Factors are hiding their base, if it does exist.

I think that's why the article says that "it may also overturn an established scientific theory".

Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age.

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The Green Slime The Green Slime's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

It's not quite big enough to be a brown dwarf. From the wiki...

The discoverers speculate that the hypothesized planet could be up to four times the mass of Jupiter and have a relatively high temperature of approximately 200 Kelvin (-73°C), due to residual heat from its formation. With a mass of four times that of Jupiter, it would still be too small to be a brown dwarf, the ignition of which requires an astronomical object to possess a mass of around 13 Jupiter masses.


Time will perfect matter.

Quincey Forder Quincey Forder's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

This could be a nice addition to Rimward, don't you think?
A great place for Brinkers to settle in.
You know, for all we know it's already written about in Gatecrasher, and we didn't suspect it was so close

Beside, it could make a great outpost for light hugger vessels expedition to depart from
Unmanned 0.6c freighter could bring tools and pre-made habitat with synths to do the construction, while a slower ship with frozen morphs and their owners' ego spending the travel in a *60 time dilation simspace

All this Helium and Hydrogen makes one hell of a motivators for investment! Think of all the antimater and Deuterium and Triterium hypercops like Fah-Jing could make there! this boggles the mind.

Q U I N C E Y ^_*_^ F O R D E R

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adept42 adept42's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

Well, I think a gatecrasher who arrived on Tyche would get suspicious when they noticed the constellations all look almost identical to the ones we see from the inner system. :)

The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Real-life astrophysicists believe a planet larger than ...

The Green Slime wrote:
Tyche? You fools, it's Yuggoth!

Funny, the first name that came to mind when I read those articles was Big Ben.