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Many Solar System Comets May Be Sun's Stolen Goods
Space dot com ^ | February 28, 2012 | Clara Moskowitz

Posted on 03/17/2012 11:10:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv

At least 5 percent of the comets orbiting our sun may have been stolen from other stars, scientists say.

Our solar system is thought to include trillions of comets -- small chunks of rock and ice -- that circle the sun in a spherical swarm called the Oort cloud, a region that extendsabout 100,000 times the distance from the Earth to the sun in any direction. The average distance between the Earth and sun is 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).

Now scientists suggest that many of these bodies may actually have originated around other stars and were snatched up by the sun's gravity during a close swipe sometime over the past 4 billion years.

Astronomer Stephen Levine of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., and undergraduate student Catherine Gosmeyer of Indiana University created a computer simulation to calculate how often stars would be likely to exchange comets when they passed close by each other, as stars often do in the course of their lives orbiting the center of the galaxy...

By looking at the number and spread of stars in the sun's neighborhood, the researchers found that other stars would pass reasonably close by the sun every 1 to 2 million years. That means that the sun has probably had between 10,000 to 50,000 close encounters over its lifetime.

And any one of these could easily have caused the sun to gain or lose comets, the simulations suggest. The researchers calculated that at least 5 percent of the Oort cloud comets are likely to be adopted from other stars, though the true figure could be much higher.

And the encounters were probably two-way transactions; just as the sun may have gained new comets, it just as likely lost some of its own.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: astronomy; catastrophism; comets; oortcloud; rogueplanet; rogueplanets; worldsincollision; xplanets
Diagram showing the position of the Oort Cloud. CREDIT: Southwest Research Institute

Many Solar System Comets May Be Sun's Stolen Goods

1 posted on 03/17/2012 11:10:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv

There are other things orbiting between the stars like stars,rogue planets,moons and comets.


2 posted on 03/17/2012 11:14:08 PM PDT by U-238
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

3 posted on 03/17/2012 11:14:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; ...
...and if there is no Oort Cloud...



4 posted on 03/17/2012 11:15:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: SunkenCiv

There also could be rouge black holes. These are the real difficult celestial bodies to detect.

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2011/04/cosmic-danger-zone-rogue-solar-system-devouring-mini-black-holes.html


5 posted on 03/17/2012 11:17:10 PM PDT by U-238
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To: SunkenCiv

How soon before Obama sends out a message using the Aricebo Dish to Apologize for stealing comets from other star systems?

Obama: “The Sun acted stupidly in taking the comets that belonged to the Romulan Star System 1.654 billion years ago....”


6 posted on 03/17/2012 11:23:23 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: SunkenCiv

My Uncle Art had a Comet. It was black with an automatic transmission. I always wondered where that car went. Thieving sun.....could’ve stole Uncle Bill’s Thunderbird.....that thing was a lemon.


7 posted on 03/18/2012 2:31:21 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SunkenCiv
Many Solar System Comets May Be Sun's Stolen Goods.

Billions of lawyers from out of the Tort cloud descend on the sun.

8 posted on 03/18/2012 2:53:47 AM PDT by this_ol_patriot (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner)
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To: this_ol_patriot

Billions of lawyers from out of the Tort cloud descend on the sun.


Good one!


9 posted on 03/18/2012 5:31:46 AM PDT by The Working Man (No child left behind should be: No Child left a dime.)
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To: SunkenCiv

10 posted on 03/18/2012 5:38:02 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas gerit ;-{)
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To: All

Stealing is such a harsh word, I prefer adopting.


11 posted on 03/18/2012 6:12:13 AM PDT by BipolarBob (When do the salmon return to Capistrano?)
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To: GraceG

Obama: “The Sun acted stupidly in taking the comets that belonged to the Romulan Star System 1.654 billion years ago....”

The Romulan war fleeet is on its way, since they never knew who to blame before.


12 posted on 03/18/2012 6:16:38 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: JoeProBono

It’s a big dandelion! ;’)


13 posted on 03/18/2012 7:10:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: GraceG; blueunicorn6; this_ol_patriot; BipolarBob; PIF

LOL!


14 posted on 03/18/2012 7:23:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: U-238

That’s a dirty trick, eh?


15 posted on 03/18/2012 7:24:08 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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To: SunkenCiv
small chunks of rock and ice

So where did all the Oxygen necessary to form the rock (presumably SiO2, but maybe other mysterious stuff too?) and ice come from?

ML/NJ

16 posted on 03/18/2012 8:45:27 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: SunkenCiv
I understand that the comets themselves in the cloud are probably very far apart, but still...a “shell” of comets surrounding star systems would seem to add a nasty complication for would-be interstellar space-farers.
17 posted on 03/18/2012 9:36:40 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

They’re pretty far apart.


18 posted on 03/18/2012 12:06:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
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