Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

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Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Moppy » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:21 am

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/ ... lar-system

The solar system appears to have a new ninth planet. Today, two scientists announced evidence that a body nearly the size of Neptune—but as yet unseen—orbits the sun every 15,000 years. During the solar system’s infancy 4.5 billion years ago, they say, the giant planet was knocked out of the planet-forming region near the sun. Slowed down by gas, the planet settled into a distant elliptical orbit, where it still lurks today. - Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena

Edit: Their actual paper is here, but being a science paper, it's both boring and hard to understand. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.38 ... /2/22/meta
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:39 am

I'm thinking gas stop.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Reynard » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:34 pm

This is science so let the repeated evidence gathering and analysis begin by other groups. If we can now find terrestrial dozens of light years away, a gas giant at the ort cloud should be easy-peasy.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Solomani Jim » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:43 pm

Reynard wrote:This is science so let the repeated evidence gathering and analysis begin by other groups. If we can now find terrestrial dozens of light years away, a gas giant at the ort cloud should be easy-peasy.
We neither need nor want a Nemesis. )
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby fusor » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:33 pm

Reynard wrote:This is science so let the repeated evidence gathering and analysis begin by other groups. If we can now find terrestrial dozens of light years away, a gas giant at the ort cloud should be easy-peasy.
If we know exactly where to look, yes. Unfortunately (if it exists) it'll be very dim, located somewhere on a pretty huge orbit, and may be hidden against the background of the milky way. It's not the same as finding exoplanets that are brightly illuminated by their nearby stars.

http://www.findplanetnine.com/p/blog-page.html
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Rick » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:46 pm

Oh, yeah - "easy-peasy". It's somewhere along a 20,000 year long orbit some 90-100 Billion miles out from our sun and there's no convenient nearby star for it to obscure as it goes round. Don't hold your breath waiting for it to show up!
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Condottiere » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:17 am

Image
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Moppy » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:49 pm

re: The red planet. Yes. If a planet is found the kooks are going to go berzerk.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:54 pm

fusor wrote:
Reynard wrote:This is science so let the repeated evidence gathering and analysis begin by other groups. If we can now find terrestrial dozens of light years away, a gas giant at the ort cloud should be easy-peasy.
If we know exactly where to look, yes. Unfortunately (if it exists) it'll be very dim, located somewhere on a pretty huge orbit, and may be hidden against the background of the milky way. It's not the same as finding exoplanets that are brightly illuminated by their nearby stars.

http://www.findplanetnine.com/p/blog-page.html
You could use a computer to deduce its location, then narrow the patch of shy in which to look for it. It should be worthwhile to find. A planet like that will probably have a number of moons which can be mined and settled.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby fusor » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:36 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:You could use a computer to deduce its location, then narrow the patch of shy in which to look for it. It should be worthwhile to find.
Read the link I posted... that's exactly what they've done there.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:01 am

The way they would detect it would be by parallax. As you know, a planet that far out will move very little over time, so what we depend upon is the movement of the Earth in its orbit over 6 months, with the Earth shifting 2 AU over 6 months, a shift in planet X against the background stars can be detected, and with that information, we can tell how far away it is, and we'll see it with light reflected from the Sun.
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Re: Sciencemag.org: Non-crackpot Astronomers say a Neptune-sized planet lurks beyond Pluto

Postby fusor » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:04 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:The way they would detect it would be by parallax. As you know, a planet that far out will move very little over time, so what we depend upon is the movement of the Earth in its orbit over 6 months, with the Earth shifting 2 AU over 6 months, a shift in planet X against the background stars can be detected, and with that information, we can tell how far away it is, and we'll see it with light reflected from the Sun.
Or they can just use the modern day equivalent of blink comparators (i.e. computers comparing sky survey frames from different dates). You don't need to take a year's worth of observations to find this planet (not really knowing exactly where to look doesn't help either) - it'll still be moving enough to be detectable over a few weeks of observations.

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