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(Paper) Evidence of a Jovian Mass Solar Companion in the Oort Cloud?
Paolo
post Apr 27 2010, 05:07 AM
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... a new confirmation of the "Nemesis" theory Persistent Evidence of a Jovian Mass Solar Companion in the Oort Cloud


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I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.

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ngunn
post Apr 27 2010, 07:45 AM
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Much appreciated, thanks. Best of all the full article is available free.
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Hungry4info
post Apr 27 2010, 10:35 AM
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I think calling it a "confirmation" is giving it a bit too much credit, but it is interesting nonetheless.
As they state, WISE will shed much more light on the issue.


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Phil Stooke
post Apr 27 2010, 12:02 PM
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This certainly can't be called a confirmation, as Hungry4info already said. Let's see how the paper is received. I'd love to see such an object discovered (though I don't see how it could have been missed in the past) - what a target for a New Horizons-type mission! But I'm not very hopeful.

Phil


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Greg Hullender
post Apr 27 2010, 04:07 PM
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Some interesting points (this thing is over 40 pages long!)

1) They reject the "Nemesis" concept, saying the object couldn't cause "comet storms."
2) They want to name it "Tyche" for the good sister of Nemesis.
3) They're talking 1-4 MJ at 10,000 to 30,000 AU; to put that in perspective, note that even a probe like NH would take thousands of years get there.
4) It's inclined 133 degrees to the ecliptic, but they think the orbit's circular.
5) Depending on assumptions, they give as much as a 50% chance that this is an illusion caused by randomness in the observations.

Within year, WISE will know. Gives us something to anticipate though.

--Greg
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Paolo
post Apr 27 2010, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (Hungry4info @ Apr 27 2010, 12:35 PM) *
I think calling it a "confirmation" is giving it a bit too much credit


you are right. I should have used another word, but my capability of thinking in English at 7 AM is not very good...


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stewjack
post Apr 27 2010, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Apr 27 2010, 11:07 AM) *
Some interesting points (this thing is over 40 pages long!)
--Greg

Not to mention that it has Math in it. Math! I might, just might, read 40 pages of words and pictures. But Math - no way! wacko.gif
Thanks Greg
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tedstryk
post Apr 27 2010, 06:07 PM
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Yeah, why in the world would they use math in trying to determine whether the effects of a massive object in the Kuiper Belt are present? rolleyes.gif Next thing you know they will start using it in computing spacecraft trajectories.


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stevesliva
post Apr 27 2010, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE (tedstryk @ Apr 27 2010, 02:07 PM) *
Yeah, why in the world would they use math in trying to determine whether the effects of a massive object in the Kuiper Belt are present? rolleyes.gif


Because strong in them the force is not.
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ngunn
post Apr 27 2010, 10:46 PM
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Whether this object exists or not there is plenty of room for them in the unsearched parameter space. I'm surprised Phil thinks anything out there would have been discovered already. How, I wonder?

Agreed, 50 percent is not a great probability. Most researchers wait for 95 percent before publishing.
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nprev
post Apr 27 2010, 10:47 PM
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The merits of math aside, statistical inference is always to be taken with a grain of salt on its own. To paraphrase a quote I once heard, 'You can prove anything with a logarithmic chart!' tongue.gif

I see this paper as a bit of a roll of the dice by the authors. WISE might conceivably spot such an object; if it does, then they might go down in history as the 21st Century equivalents of Leverrier & Adams.


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alan
post Apr 28 2010, 12:49 AM
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This paper reminds me of an article I read in Sky and Telescope ~20 years ago which also speculated that a group of comets with aphelia on a narrow band of galactic longitude were due to distant solar companion. I'll have to see if I can locate a copy.
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Phil Stooke
post Apr 28 2010, 01:15 AM
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I was assuming that IR surveys - going right back to IRAS - would have picked up anything this size.

Phil


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nprev
post Apr 28 2010, 02:37 AM
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They do mention IRAS, and sort of artfully adjust their constraints to account for the fact that it was not in fact previously discovered.

Well, the best part of this hypothesis is that it can be tested fairly rigorously. A lot of us here have been half-expecting WISE to discover at least one massive body closer than Proxima as discussed in other threads, and "half-expecting" is precisely the numerical probability assigned by the authors to this putative distant Jovian! smile.gif


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Vultur
post Apr 28 2010, 08:29 PM
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I hope this works out, and that WISE finds the object .. but can it? I remember reading that WISE couldn't find an Earth-size body at Kuiper belt (or was it Oort cloud?) temperatures. At that distance from the Sun, it'll be *really* cold ... but at Jupiter-mass plus, it should produce a significant amount of internal heat.

'Tyche' is a clever name.

QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Apr 27 2010, 05:07 PM) *
3) They're talking 1-4 MJ at 10,000 to 30,000 AU; to put that in perspective, note that even a probe like NH would take thousands of years get there.


Yeah, if it exists, it'll take a new generation of propulsion technologies to get there in anything resembling a reasonable time. Presuming 20,000 AU, to get there in twenty years would require an average speed of 4740 km/s.
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