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Further insulting poor Pluto


The hunt is on for a gas giant up to four times the mass of Jupiter thought to be lurking in the outer Oort Cloud, the most remote region of the solar system. The orbit of Tyche (pronounced ty-kee), would be 15,000 times farther from the Sun than the Earth's, and 375 times farther than Pluto's, which is why it hasn't been seen so far.
Whether it would become the new ninth planet would be decided by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The main argument against is that Tyche probably formed around another star and was later captured by the Sun's gravitational field. The IAU may choose to create a whole new category for Tyche, Professor Matese said.
Tyche will almost certainly be made up mostly of hydrogen and helium and will probably have an atmosphere much like Jupiter's, with colourful spots and bands and clouds, Professor Whitmire said. "You'd also expect it to have moons. All the outer planets have them," he added.
Most of the billions of objects in the Oort Cloud - a sphere one light year in radius stretching a quarter of the distance to Alpha Centauri, the brightest star in the southern constellation - are lumps of dirty ice at temperatures much closer to absolute zero (-273C).

A few of these are dislodged from their orbits by the galactic tide - the combined gravitational pull from the billions of stars towards the centre of the Milky Way - and start the long fall into the inner solar system.

As these long-period comets get closer to the Sun, some of the ice boils off, forming the characteristic tails that make them visible.

Professors Matese and Whitmire first proposed the existence of Tyche to explain why many of these long-period comets were coming from the wrong direction. In their latest paper, published in the February issue of Icarus, the international journal of solar system studies, they report that more than 20 per cent too many of the long-period comets observed since 1898 arrive from a band circling the sky at a higher angle than predicted by the galactic-tide theory.

I only have one question for this so-called new planet:

Okay, how'd it get there?
How'd it get there?
Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How'd it get there?
How'd it get there?
Can you explain that to me?
How come we have that and Mars doesn't have it? Venus doesn't have it. How come?
Why not?
How'd it get there?

By fnord12 | February 14, 2011, 3:53 PM | Science