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.