Skip to comments.Search on for Death Star that throws out deadly comets..
Posted on 03/19/2010 7:30:45 PM PDT by TaraP
Nasa scientists are searching for an invisible 'Death Star' that circles the Sun, which catapults potentially catastrophic comets at the Earth. The star, also known as Nemesis, is five times the size of Jupiter and could be to blame for the impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
The bombardment of icy missiles is being blamed by some scientists for mass extinctions of life that they say happen every 26 million years
Nemesis is predicted to lie at a distance equal to 25,000 times that of the Earth from the Sun, or a third of a light-year.
Astronomers believe it is of a type called a red or brown dwarf a "failed star" that has not managed to generate enough energy to burn like the Sun.
But it should be detectable by a heat-sensitive space telescope called WISE, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer.
Launched last year, WISE began surveying the skies in January. It is expected to discover a 1000 brown dwarfs within 25 light-years of the Sun right on our cosmic doorstep before its coolant runs out in October.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
A major clue to Nemesis’s existence is a mysterious dwarf planet called Sedna that was spotted on an elongated 12,000-year-long orbit around the sun.
Mike Brown, who discovered Sedna in 2003, said: “Sedna is a very odd object it shouldn’t be there! It never comes anywhere close to any of the giant planets or the sun. It’s way, way out there on this incredibly eccentric orbit.
The only way to get on an eccentric orbit is to have some giant body kick you so what is out there?”
Professor John Matese, of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, says most comets in the inner solar system seem to come from the same region of the Oort Cloud launched by the pull of a companion star to the sun that scatters comets in its wake.
He suggests it is up to five times the size of Jupiter or 7,000 times the size of Earth.
Well, at at least the Nirubu freaks have SOME relevance now (But this thing is NOT going to come through the Solar System in 2012...)
I’m sure Al Gore will be able to find it and make it his next Panic Attack.
So and we can do what about it!!! This is more waste of money
We don’t really know if Sedna is an odd object or not. Its in the least know part of our solar system and might turn out to be one of many similar objects.
Looks like 2013 now! :)
John Matese (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) thinks the gravitational influence of a solar companion is disrupting that part of the cloud, scattering comets in its wake. His calculations suggest Nemesis is between 3 to 5 times the mass of Jupiter, rather than the 13 Jupiter masses or greater that some scientists think is a necessary quality of a brown dwarf. Even at this smaller mass, however, many astronomers would still classify it as a low mass star rather than a planet, since the circumstances of birth for stars and planets differ.
Richard Muller of the University of California Berkeley first suggested the Nemesis theory, and even wrote a popular science book on the topic. He thinks Nemesis is a red dwarf star 1.5 light years away.
Binary star systems are common in the galaxy. It is estimated that one-third of the stars in the Milky Way are either binary or part of a multiple-star system.
Part of the WISE mission is to search for brown dwarfs, and NASA expects it could find one thousand of the dim stellar objects within 25 light years of our solar system.
Ned Wright, professor of astronomy and physics at UCLA and the principal investigator for the WISE mission, said that WISE will easily see an object with a mass a few times that of Jupiter and located 25,000 AU away, as suggested by Matese.
We may not have an answer to the Nemesis question until mid-2013. WISE needs to scan the sky twice in order to generate the time-lapsed images astronomers use to detect objects in the outer solar system. The change in location of an object between the time of the first scan and the second tells astronomers about the objects location and orbit. Then comes the long task of analyzing the data.
I don’t suspect we’ll have completed the search for candidate objects until mid-2012, and then we may need up to a year of time to complete telescopic follow-up of those objects, said Kirkpatrick.
Need to inform NASA about this pronto!
This was a science-fiction novel by Isaac Asimov.
Only one thing comes to mind. And it isn't a heavenly body, that's for sure.
Interesting. Is this thing outbound or is it inbound?
Sedna, is more like a large asteroid type of thing, smaller than Pluto, at 800-1100 miles diameter. That's the object in the strange, 12,000 yr. orbit mentioned in the article, right?
I'm getting the idea that the Sedna discovery helped lead to the "size" speculation of this yet-to-be-found but expected to exist dark companion star?
Jack H. Where’d you find the pic of Pelosi traveling in disguise?
This theory has actually been around for a long time. I first heard of this back in 1969/1970. Unfortunately for me at the time I shot my mouth off about it in school and instantly became a laughing stock. At the time I found the theory credible and it seems that it could indeed be very real. So, piss-off to my Classmates of ‘74 on this one.
How’d you know!?!?!? LOL!
OTOH, I prefer to believe that the Creator has absolute control over spacetime, so there are any number of adustments that could have been applied...
IOW, the "winged disk" image has nothing to do with the bright object, and everything to do with an aberration in the SOHO instrumentation.
From that, I don't see the connection to 15 years of the king's lifetime...
Everyone knows it's Da JOOOZTM!
(Jimmuh Carter told me so!)
Hmmm...the above image won't hotlink on FR, but you can see it at
The theory is this dark (actually twin) star’s orbit is so long and elliptical that it’s impact is only noticed when it comes around and gravitationally pulls objects out of the Oort cloud.
Which is how we get craters :)
Never mind the death of the dinosaurs. Could this be the cause of the possible comet strike in the Northern Hemisphere that destroyed the Clovis culture, killed the large mammals and triggered the thousand year Younger Dryas cooling?
I don't see any of that as an argument against the existence of this red dwarf Nemesis however and if Nemesis can be shown to exist, we need to get a look at it. One theory about habitable planets says that the most likely places for them would be around red dwarf stars.
Interestingly enough, there is a [cough, cough] 'winged disk' object visible there at SOHO, now. It is the planet Mercury visible @;
SOHO, Pick of the week, suicide comets from March 15, this year. Ooh, the Ides of March, and all that jazz. Ceasar stabbed, then comets dumping themselves into the Sun. Ko-inkydink? Or just Kooky? Let the reader/viewer decide!
I'd swear there is a pattern. I've seen this many times at SOHO. One time in particular (a few years ago) the CME deflected a comet's tail. That particular comet didn't crash into the Sun like the other recent ones.
More info from same page;
As far as the CME's go, I'm starting to wonder if there isn't an electrical charge that induces the CME. But then again, there are CME's when no comets are visible, too.
Thanks to SOHO, we do see a great many more small comets which had previously gone undetected.
The EIT 284 product shows them the best, to my own untrained eyes. EIT 284 latest image
Your post is a great place to hang a plug for what I consider to be one of the coolest programs I've ever seen: Celestia
From the Celestia homepage:
Celestia is expandable. Celestia comes with a large catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and spacecraft. If that's not enough, you can download dozens of easy to install add-ons with more objects.
At the Celestia Motherload site, you can download add-ons for more detailed planetary textures, real spacecraft like Voyager I and II with their current positions, and also a huge number of fictional spacecraft as well. Apparently some folks have lots of spare time on their hands. :-)
And if we give credence to the records of earthquakes
in the chronicles of the ancient East and in those of the
classical age, we shall be amazed at the number of seismic
shocks and tremors. One example is the Babylonian rec-
ords on clay tablets stored in the library of Nineveh,
excavated by Sir Henry Layard; another is the Roman
records of a later age: in a single year during the Punic
Wars (217) fifty-seven earthquakes were reported in
From all this it is apparent that seismic activity on our
planet subsided very quickly in intensity as well as in the
number of occurrences; and this again would point to a
stress or stresses that took place not so long ago: earth-
quakes are readjustments of the terrestrial strata, with
accompanying relief from the stress.
Our front door looks right out on the eastern ecliptic -- so, usually it's a planet (Mars, lately...)
One of the coolest features of Celestia IMO, is that it’s the first program that I’ve ever seen that really gives you a feel for the scale of space. Limit yourself to the speed of light, make a tour of the solar system and you’ll see what I mean. :-) I recently flew to Alpha Centauri at 1AU/sec. Even at a ridiculous speed like that, it still takes freaking forever!
first one an earlier topic about this, the rest just related sidebars:Rogue Planet Find Makes Astronomers Ponder TheoryEighteen rogue planets that seem to have broken all the rules about being born from a central, controlling sun may force a rethink about how planets form, astronomers said on Thursday... "The formation of young, free-floating, planetary-mass objects like these is difficult to explain by our current models of how planets form," Zapatero-Osorio said... They are not linked to one another in an orbit, but do move together as a cluster, she said... Many stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way, may have formed in a similar manner to the Orion stars, she said. So there could be similar, hard-to-see planets floating around free near the Solar System.
by Maggie Fox
October 5, 2000
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Thanks Fred Nerks for the EiU.
I’m scratching my head over who sent this link, I really thought I had that info saved along with the file:
Nemesis: Does the Sun Have a 'Companion'?Richard A. Muller... a physicist at University of California at Berkeley... [has] ideas... generally rooted in solid science and genius extrapolation... But Muller's biggest idea is a real Nemesis. Or so he claims. Like a thorn in the side of mainstream researchers, Muller's Nemesis theory -- that our Sun has a companion star responsible for recurring episodes of wholesale death and destruction here on Earth -- seems to reemerge periodically like microbes after a mass extinction. It's a theory that has many detractors. And it's a theory that has been beaten down and left for dead in the minds of most scientists... Muller's idea for Nemesis came to him 1983. Luis Alvarez, then an emeritus professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, and his son Walter had recently put forth the theory that a giant impact had wiped out the dinosaurs... Around the same time, two other researchers had suggested yet another controversial idea, that mass extinctions occurred at regular intervals -- every 26 million years or so. Scientists immediately folded the ideas into a new and breathtaking possibility: Impacts by space rocks were causing massive global species destruction every 26 million years.
by Robert Roy Britt
03 April 2001Searching for a Tenth PlanetThe main justification for the search was made when discrepancies in the predicted positions of the outer planets Uranus and Neptune kept cropping up with alarming regularity. Uranus has completed over two and a half orbits since its discovery in 1741, and Neptune, discovered in 1846, has completed almost one full circuit. Both planets should have accurately determined orbits by now. And yet, variations in their predicted positions, called residuals, persist. Critics, most prominent among them, British astronomer Dr. Brian Marsden with the International Astronomical Union, say that inadvertent data error is the real culprit behind the residuals, not a missing planet. In fact, says Dr. Marsden, Planet X is not a scientific problem as much as it is a psychological problem...
by Jeff Kanipe
Oct 15 1999
In the October 11 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr. John Murray, an astronomer from the Open University in the United Kingdom proposed that a large object in the extreme outer realms of the solar system may be gravitationally affecting the orbits of long-period comets. He theorizes that the object would have to orbit the sun 32,000 times farther away than Earth (about 3 trillion miles) and would have to be at least as massive as Jupiter, if not more so. Given its distance, it would also be extremely faint and slow moving.
In other research, a professor of physics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Dr. John J. Matese, is making a case for the existence of a 2- to 3-Jupiter mass object orbiting some 2.3 trillion miles from the sun. In a paper soon to be published in the planetary journal, Icarus, Dr. Matese asserts that this object, too, has created a "concentration" of Oort cloud comets and is responsible for sending a significant number of them - perhaps as much as 25 percent - into the inner solar system... Dr. Matese's theory focuses on different aspects of long-period comet orbits, but nevertheless begs the question: could the darkest corner of our solar system harbor a tenth planet or a brown dwarf? A brown dwarf, he contends, would not have been detected in the previous infrared searches, such as the one conducted by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) in the early 1980s, because the alleged planet/brown dwarf is too near the galactic plane. To ferret out such an object in that busy IR region requires greater sensitivity than IRAS possessed at the time.