One New Planet, Two New Planets, or One New Planet and its Moon!

In February 2011, the scientific journal Icarus published a paper by astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, who proposed the existence of a binary companion to our sun, larger than Jupiter, in the long-hypothesized “Oort cloud” — a faraway repository of small icy bodies at the edge of our solar system. The researchers use the name “Tyche” for the hypothetical planet. As quoted by NASA, their paper argues that evidence for the planet would have been recorded by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

A new research, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters, is based on analysis of an effect called the “Kozai mechanism”, by which a large body disturbs the orbit of a smaller and more distant object. The research is being carried out by from scientists at the University of Madrid and the University of Cambridge. They have been tracking large asteroids known as “extreme trans-Neptunion objects” (Etnos) which orbit the sun at least six billion kilometers away. Spanish lead scientist Professor Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), explained: “This excess of objects with unexpected orbital parameters makes us believe that some invisible forces are altering the distribution of the orbital elements of the Etnos, and we consider that the most probable explanation is that other unknown planets exist beyond.” The scientists have found the objects orbit the Sun in a manner consistent with them being subject to the gravitational pull of a planet at least as large as Earth. Neptune was discovered in a similar fashion when astronomers accurately calculated its existence from irregularities in the orbit of its neighbouring planet Uranus.

I believe there is one planet that is larger than Jupiter as envisaged by the two prominent American scientists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire back in 2004; but being a giant planet it could carry a gravitational pull so that its moon is probably as large as Earth or even larger. I believe a solution of 1 plant + 1 moon could bring accord with the American scientists on one hand and the Brit/Spaniard on the other hand.

NASA remains to be silent about its WISE (Wide Infrared Space Explorer) that was announced in November 2011 to get launched to detect planets in the Oort cloud through the heat they dissipate since at such a distance planets do not have a chance to reflect Sun’s light.


About T.Niazi

Tarek S. Niazi holds a Bachelor degree and a Master degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science respectively. He worked at IBM for twenty-five years in various positions. As an entrepreneur, he established and ran investment, consulting, and project integration services companies. Niazi’s interests run the gamut from geology to history, astronomy to theology, and most of the sciences, including physics. His global travels have given him a deep appreciation for the mosaic of life and culture on Earth.
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