Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Place So Far Out--It Can Only Be AL!

It sez here that they've MAYBE discovered a huge new planet called "Tyche" in the Oort Cloud--it would be 4x the size of Jupiter, be 15,000 as far from the sun as is Earth, and be responsible for knocking comets toward the Sun.

Think about that. 15,000 Astronomical Units is a distance so huge that light from the Sun would take on the order of 34.7 hours to reach it from the Sun (it takes light eight minutes to hit us once it leaves the solar surface). The temperature of the planet would be -100 degrees C; its heat would be internally generated rather than received from the Sun, which would be but a very bright star in the sky.

Now, they might be able to prove it exists, but they haven't, yet.

But... who said they can name it? First you discover it THEN you name it. Until it's actually discovered it gets some NASAesque designator like "Oort Cloud Anomaly #1/OCA1" or some such. No fair coming up with a name before it's found. First, catch thee thy rabbit....

Besides, "Tyche" is too close to "Tycho," which is both an astronomical feature already (Lunar crater) and the name of a major toy company.

If I find it first, I'm going to name it Algore: it's gaseous, cold, icy, way out there, and given the potential damage it could do to Earth through unforeseen consequences, it would be better if it didn't have any actual power to affect its local environment.....

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Keep it clean for gene.