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Short period comets and Planet X


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#16    sepulchrave

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 03:31 AM

View PostEulalio, on 24 December 2009 - 04:45 AM, said:

The "alternative explanations" which you say "rule out the existance of the so-called Kuiper cliff as proof of Planet X" refer to events which according to these scientists, occurred millions if not billions of years ago, and not fairly recently like less than 10,000 years ago only.

In my other post titled "Short period comets - proof of Planet X's recent passage", I discussed that whatever event or reason is used to explain the Kuiper cliff, or the nudging of the leftover debris in the Kuiper Belt, it must be an event which occurred less than 10,000 years ago, since we know for a fact that some short period comets have minimum lifetimes of only 10,000 years.

I agree. The non-Planet X explanations for the Kuiper belt require that the belt be established billions of years ago in a singular or at least non-periodic event.

I do not agree that the existence of short period comets is proof of a periodic Planet X-like perturbation.

Consider, for example, the Trojan asteriods in Jupiter's orbit. These asteroids are in resonance with Jupiter's orbit, and have trajectories around the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. That is why they are still there, and have not either crashed into a planet or been ejected from the solar system.
However:
  • Only an actual Lagrange point is stable. The vicinity of a Lagrange point is only quasi-stable. A single asteroid at the L4 Lagrange point may well stay there forever, but all the other asteroids near the L4 Lagrange point are therefore potentially in unstable orbits (although it may take thousands, millions, or billions of years for these orbits to decay).
  • A Lagrange point only technically exists for an infinitesimally small mass between two larger masses. Obviously the asteroids themselves, while certainly possessing very small masses, are not infinitesimal. Also the Solar system is certainly not a 2-body problem. Therefore the `Lagrange points' in the Solar system are not true Lagrange points, only approximations thereof. Therefore even objects directly at the so-called `Lagrange points' are potentially in unstable orbits.
  • It is impossible to analytically solve the 3-body problem, let alone a 1000-body problem. Therefore even in a Solar system consisting of only the Sun, Jupiter, and a single Trojan asteroid it is impossible to say whether or not that asteroid is in a stable orbit. Obviously our Solar system is more complicated than this.
Therefore I do not conclude that the presence of occasional short period comet is ``proof'' of an additional planet in our Solar system.

Indeed, it is far more likely, in my opinion, that the occasional small perturbations from neighbouring small-body asteroids and such is responsible for sporadically generating short period comets than a periodic massive perturbation from an elliptical planet. Such a planet would probably leave several large, and easily observed, holes in the Kuiper and asteroid belts (if it came that close).


#17    Eulalio

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 12:33 AM

View Postsepulchrave, on 25 December 2009 - 03:31 AM, said:

I agree. The non-Planet X explanations for the Kuiper belt require that the belt be established billions of years ago in a singular or at least non-periodic event.

I do not agree that the existence of short period comets is proof of a periodic Planet X-like perturbation.

The non-Planet X explanations for the Kuiper belt unfortunately is unable to explain another astronomical "anomaly" which further strengthens the existence of Planet X.

This anomaly is the existence of detached objects such as Sedna and 2000 CR105.

Other than the Kuiper belt, the only other region in our solar system which harbors clumps of small bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune is the Oort Cloud. The Oort cloud is located much farther away from the Kuiper Belt. The Oort cloud is believed to be 50,000 AU from the Sun while in comparison, the Kuiper Belt is believed to be only between 30-55 AU from the Sun.

Theoretically, there should be no objects found between the Kuiper Belt and the Oort cloud. But unfortunately, astronomers have found such objects which they call "detached objects".

http://en.wikipedia....ject_(astronomy)

Detached objects are a dynamical class of bodies in the outer Solar System beyond the orbit of Neptune. These objects have orbits whose points of closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) are sufficiently distant from the gravitational influence of Neptune that they are essentially unaffected by Neptune and the other planets: this makes them appear to be “detached” from the Solar System.

In this way, they differ substantially from the majority of the known trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), which form a loosely defined set of populations that have been perturbed to varying degrees onto their current orbit by gravitational encounters with the gas giant planets, predominantly Neptune.

Detached objects generally have highly elliptical, very large orbits with semi-major axes of up to a few hundred astronomical units (AU, the radius of Earth's orbit). Such orbits cannot have been created by gravitational scattering by the gas giants (in particular, Neptune). Instead, a number of explanations have been put forward, including:

1. an encounter with a passing star or
2. an encounter with a distant, planet-sized object located between the Oort cloud and the Kuiper Belt.

One detached object, namely, 2000 CR105, has an aphelion of 393.8 AU only. In comparison, the Oort cloud is believed to be located at roughly 50,000 AU from the Sun. This clearly eliminates the "encounter with a passing star" explanation as 2000 CR105 is located too deep in the solar system, and there are far too less number of detached objects obseved so far. An encounter with a passing star would have created far more number of detached objects located not too far from the Oort cloud itself, which is the nearest a passing star could get to our solar system without creating far more havoc.

An encounter with a distant, planet-sized object located between the Oort cloud and the Kuiper Belt would allow for small bodies located at the Kuiper Belt to be dragged farther away from the Kuiper Belt but at distances that do not come near the Oort cloud.

If you will notice, the non-Planet X explanations for the Kuiper belt is NOT included among those explanations that could explain the existence of detached objects.

Only the existence of Planet X can explain all at the same time the 3 observed anomalies in our solar system , namely:

1. The continued existence of short period comets
2. The Kuiper cliff
3. The existence of detached objects

Edited by Eulalio, 26 December 2009 - 12:49 AM.

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