Tag Archives | Solar System

Does the Sun Have A Jupiter-Sized Companion Star in the Far Reaches of Our Solar System?

Editor’s note: This paper submitted to arXiv, which is an electronic service for academic papers supported by Cornell University, is citing evidence for the controversial Nemesis star theory, which claims our solar system is actually a binary star system. Below is the abstract is this paper. The authors of this paper are claiming this star exists in the boundary of our solar system, the Oort cloud and is around (in astronomical terms) the size of Jupiter. John J. Matese and Daniel P. Whitmire write via arXiv.org:
Binary Star

We present an updated dynamical and statistical analysis of outer Oort cloud cometary evidence suggesting the sun has a wide-binary Jovian mass companion. The results support a conjecture that there exists a companion of mass ~1–4 M_Jup orbiting in the innermost region of the outer Oort cloud.

Our most restrictive prediction is that the orientation angles of the orbit normal in galactic coordinates are centered on the galactic longitude of the ascending node Omega = 319 degree and the galactic inclination i = 103 degree (or the opposite direction) with an uncertainty in the normal direction subtending ~2% of the sky.

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Neptune May Have Eaten A Planet and Stolen Its Moon

Neptune and its moonDavid Shiga writes on New Scientist:

Neptune may have polished off a super-Earth that once roamed the outer solar system and stolen its moon to boot. The brutal deed could explain mysterious heat radiating from the icy planet and the odd orbit of its moon Triton.

Neptune’s own existence was a puzzle until recently. The dusty cloud that gave birth to the planets probably thinned out further from the sun. With building material so scarce, it is hard to understand how Uranus and Neptune, the two outermost planets, managed to get so big.

But what if they formed closer in? In 2005, a team of scientists proposed that the giant planets shifted positions in an early upheaval. In this scenario, Uranus and Neptune formed much closer to the sun and migrated outwards, possibly swapping places in the process.

That would have left behind enough material just beyond their birthplace to form a planet with twice the Earth’s mass, according to calculations published in 2008 by Steven Desch of Arizona State University in Tempe.

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Pacman Eats The Death Star!

From Universe Today:

Mimas has drawn a fair amount of attention with its “Death Star”-like appearance, but with new images from the Cassini spacecraft, this icy moon of Saturn has just gotten a lot more interesting. The highest-resolution-yet temperature map and images of Mimas reveal surprising patterns on the surface of the small moon, including unexpected hot regions that resemble “Pac-Man” eating the Death Star crater (officially known as Herschel Crater), as well as striking bands of light and dark in crater walls.

“After much deliberation, we have concluded: Mimas is NOT boring,” said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team leader, in an e-mail about the new images. “Who knew?!” And best of all, Porco added, “be sure you have a pair of red/green glasses handy ’cause you won’t want to miss peering into gigantic Herschel crater in 3D!”

Cassini collected the data on Feb. 13, and Porco said the team has spent some quality time poring over the images.

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NASA Close to (Dis)Proving the Existence of a ‘Death Star’ in our Solar System

Star Size ComparisionCharlie Jane Anders has a fun post on io9.com about the Nemesis theory, which the WISE telescope will prove or disprove, hopefully, soon.

The reason I say “fun” post is it’s very unlikely a Nemesis star does exist, as we have been able to figure out masses and orbits in the solar system with a high degree of accuracy for quite some time. Meaning if an object this massive was this close — Nemesis is thought to be a red dwarf star or brown dwarf — we’d have to account for it in the astronomy.

In any event, I do expect Nibiru devotees to disagree with this opinion, or if/when WISE doesn’t find it.

Charlie’s post refers to an article in Astrobiology Magazine, which is sponsored by NASA. Check out what they have to say, Leslie Mullen writes:

Is our Sun part of a binary star system? An unseen companion star, nicknamed “Nemesis,” may be sending comets towards Earth.

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