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Is a giant planet at the edge of the solar system responsible for some of the comets?

The mass of the planet that was nicknamed Ticha is 4 times that of Jupiter. It is 15,000 AU away. For comparison, Neptune is 30 AU from the Sun * Now we just have to wait for the WISE photo

A comet is approaching the sun. Image: NASA
A comet is approaching the sun. Image: NASA

We all learned in school that there are nine planets in the solar system, and we were amazed when, in 2006, Pluto was demoted and is defined as a dwarf planet. Now again the number may return to nine planets and Jupiter may lose its primacy as the largest planet in the solar system.

Scientists claim to have found proof of its existence and are waiting for it in a photograph taken by NASA's Wise Space Telescope, and all that remains is to analyze the image.

The first data should be published in April and astrophysicists John Mattis and Daniel Whitmire of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette believe they will reveal Ticha within two years. "As soon as Ticha is located, it will be possible to observe it with additional telescopes, probably powerful ones, which will confirm the discovery.

The two proposed the existence of Ticha to explain why many of the long-period comets come from the wrong direction. In an article published in the February issue of the journal Icarus, they claim that 20% more of the long-period comets recorded since 1898 have come from a belt that circles the sky at a higher angle than expected by the galactic tidal theory.

According to them, the explanation of the existence of a planet, proposed 12 years ago, is the only one capable of solving the riddle. However, they have one problem - the conventional theory claims that the gas giants can also cause comets to leak from the Oort cloud into the inner solar system, but these have not been observed so far. Their answer is that many of the comets go through so many transits within the inner solar system that it is difficult to trace their origin.

The gas giant that has melted up to 4 times that of Jupiter is supposed to melt the outer part of the Oort cloud, the most distant region in the solar system. Tycha's orbit (pronounced ty-kee) is 15 times farther from the Sun than Earth and 375 times farther from Pluto.

The issue of whether to consider Ticha as the ninth planet will be decided by the International Astronomical Union. The main argument against this definition is that a plume probably formed in the vicinity of another star and was later captured by the Sun's gravity. The IAU may be required to create a new category for Ticha, says Prof Mattis.

In Greek mythology Tycha was the goddess responsible for the density of cities. Its name was chosen due to the currently abandoned hypothesis that the Sun is part of a double star system that also shares a dim star, called Nemesis, and that it is responsible for the mass extinctions on Earth. In mythology, Tycha was the good sister of Nemesis.

Due to the size of the Ticha planet it may be composed of hydrogen and helium and it will almost certainly have an atmosphere like Jupiter's, with colored spots, bands and clouds, Prof. Whitmire says, and it should also be expected to have as many moons as all the other gas giants.

What will make it stand out in the WISE images is the temperature, which is expected to be around minus 73 degrees Celsius - 4 or 5 times hotter than Pluto. "The heat is a residue of its creation" says Prof. Whitmire. "It takes a bone like that a lot of time to cool down."

Most of the billions of objects in the Oort Cloud - a sphere that circles the Sun with a radius of one light year and extends up to a quarter of the distance to Alpha Centauri, the bright star in the southern group Centaurus - are dirty ice blocks at a temperature close to absolute zero (minus 273 degrees).

These bodies are affected by the gravitational force of all the other stars of the galaxy and some of them fall into the inner solar system and we know them as long cycle comets. When they approach the sun some of the ice evaporates and forms the tail that characterizes comets.

For the scientific article - PDF version on the University of Louisiana website

27 תגובות

  1. Does anyone know if more has been published since then
    Something about this intriguing topic?

  2. lifnay shmonee shanim, be-kenes hachalal ha-israeli ba-technion, shamaty hartsaa shel profesor ,she et shmo aeni zocher, she hesbir ki, nituach kol maslulay ha-planetot be maarechet ha-shemesh maree ki, zricha lehiyot od planeta nosefet. le taanato de-az, hamatsav hadinami shel tnuat haplanetot ha-yeduot ka-yom hu matsav lo yatsiv. hasvara she hu he-ela uz hayta she ulay hayta planeta she hayta ve “nizreka” mi maarecht hashemesh

  3. "The density of the cities" is a wrong translation: the real translation is "the fate of the cities"

    or from English:
    Destiny and not Density...

  4. Yaron,
    Note that they did the calculation for Kelvin temp (since otherwise the result would have been even more negative). What is true is that the use of this concept is really incorrect and confusing.

    The range of the Sun's gravitational influence, like that of any other body, is infinite (inversely proportional to the distance squared). In practice, the range of effective gravitational influence is not relevant when there is a more significant influence (Andromeda's gravity is not relevant over KDA, not because it does not exist, but because there are factors that have a much greater influence - let's say KDA).
    The closest massive body to the Sun is Proxima Centauri and it is more than 3 light years away and therefore at a distance of ~0.3 light years from the Sun, the dominant body is the Sun.
    Note that the fact that the sun's gravity is relevant does not mean that the body was not supposed to be detached from its influence. The question of whether a body will be detached from the gravitational influence of an object depends on both its distance and its speed - a body can be gravitationally detached from the sun even if its distance is only one AU or less than that - this is provided that it is fast enough (if you know secondary physics - the relevant criterion is that the total energy, potential and kinetic will be positive).

    The Oort cloud is not a point body located at a distance of a light year, but extends over a very large space.
    According to Wikipedia it spans distances between 0.03-0.08 light years and 0.8 light years. So this supposed planet is definitely in his domain.

  5. Let me just correct you, father, regarding the goddess Ticha in Greek mythology. Ticha is the goddess of luck, perhaps better known by her Roman name "Fortuna" and I have no idea where you got the "density of cities".

  6. It doesn't sound physically pleasant to me to say "4 times hotter" when using degrees Celsius. Water at 40 degrees Celsius does not contain 4 times more thermal energy than water at 10 degrees, but closer to 11%

  7. As Zvi said, "It is important to emphasize that the planet in question is still far from being discovered."
    When you find out, there will be something to talk about 🙂

  8. two questions:
    1. If the new star is in the Oort Cloud, which is a light-year away from the Sun, how does this reconcile with its estimated distance of 15,000 YA, which is approximately only a quarter of a light-year?
    2. Request to the author of the article: Please, give us the link to the original news on the Icarus magazine website.

  9. A question for the astronomy enthusiasts among you: at such vast distances, does the sun have some kind of gravitational influence? Shouldn't a star whose mass is 4 times greater than that of Jupiter and which is 375 times the distance of Pluto from the Sun, be separated from the solar system and wander around the galaxy as an orphan star?

  10. Could there be a star closer than Proxima Centauri? Presumably dimmer than a normal star, but hotter and larger than Ticha, and emitting enough heat for a planet orbiting it to receive enough heat to support life?

  11. If this is true, it is indeed interesting.
    Doesn't fundamentally change the world of physics, but definitely nice.

    If so, it is important to emphasize that the planet in question is still far from being discovered.
    As stated in the article, the existence of the planet was proposed for the first time already in 1999. Those who proposed its existence at the time, were exactly the same two scientists, who in the 12 years that have passed have not amassed a huge army of supporters.
    Now, they claim that the improvement in observations indicates the correctness of their theory and they may well be right. In any case, before getting carried away, it would be right to wait and see if they convince more professionals.

    In the meantime, as you can see from the links, they have not yet convinced, although it is fair to point out that most of the scientists who were interviewed (second link) stated that they had not yet had time to carefully read the article.

    In short, we'll wait and see!

  12. "We all learned in school that there are nine planets in the solar system,"
    In my school they didn't teach anything about the solar system, but they taught that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh.
    Maybe that's why education in Israel lags behind.

  13. Say, do you want to drive us crazy? First you dropped us Pluto, now we're adding Ticha, and what will happen to our predictions? What time will we change our astrological maps?

    On second thought, a shooting star strengthens my predictions about the end of the world in 2012.

    Ticha in gematria is 44. 44 times 45.727 = you guessed right!!! 2012.

    By the way, I always had the feeling that there was another planet somewhere, I just couldn't see its name on my maps. And as for crystal readers, coffee readers, tarot readers and callers, they are all frauds and charlatans. Trust me, I personally read the updated astrological map that includes the star Ticha.

  14. According to Kepler's laws, in our solar system, the cycle time in years squared is equal to the average distance from the sun in astronomical units in a third, that is, in our case the cycle time is at least 650,000 years!
    This is for the attention of someone who wants to go out for an observation just then.
    Good night
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  15. You forgot "workshop"!
    If because of a "workshop" you demoted Pluto, then what will you do now???

  16. Perhaps this planet is essential as a "closing" part of the solar system, meaning it makes the solar system a closed system than we thought until now, which means that the power of the sun is not enough to keep the stars and the order, but Ticha is needed as an external guard/policeman!
    Just an initial idea... it is possible that our understanding of the behavior of systems like the sun will change and in unexpected directions!

  17. Amazing, interesting and strange. I wonder what the conditions are on the moons that may be surrounding this bizarre giant.

  18. In the future, if they prove the existence of this planet, it will be possible to use it to accelerate satellites or spacecraft into intergalactic space.

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