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Mystery object found orbiting backwards


Ozfactor
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http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/space/mystery-object-in-weird-orbit-beyond-neptune-has-astronomers-puzzled/news-story/c0d71c94960dfa730abf7f6aa60b2e62

 

ASTRONOMERS are confused by the recent discovery of a mystery object orbiting around the sun backwards.

Located in the outer solar system past Neptune, the object was spotted by the Pan-STARRS telescope and has been moving in an opposite direction to the rest of the planets.

This abnormal celestial behaviour has seen the object dubbed “Niku” — the Chinese adjective for rebellious

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I love when they find something unexplainable. It is a good reminder that we dont really have any idea how and why it all works the way it does.

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1 hour ago, Nnicolette said:

I love when they find something unexplainable. It is a good reminder that we dont really have any idea how and why it all works the way it does.

And we never will. my friend. ;)

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Neptune seems to to the hot shot for the unusual lately.

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It is a "strange object", it goes in reverse, it is 200km across- sounds like an massive alien ship disguised as a celestial body.

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28 minutes ago, Ashyne said:

sounds like an massive alien ship disguised as a celestial body.

Ten out of ten for comedy value .

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So looking up why planets orbit in same direction explains the conservation of angular momentum...fair enough, starting at the molecular level within the hydrogen cloud before any planets have formed. I am no physicist and am obviously missing something but what is the mystery here?.. so if its traveling in the opposite direction couldn't it just be an isolated, foriegn body that has been captured by the suns gravity ? So its orbiting in the opposite direction, big deal..

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I guess you could call Niku the 1%er of planets since motorcycle gangs like Hells Angles refer themselves as 1%ers. :D

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Ashyne - but why would an alien artefact, if such it is, draw attention to itself by bucking the trend? :)

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27 minutes ago, Susanc241 said:

Ashyne - but why would an alien artefact, if such it is, draw attention to itself by bucking the trend? :)

A puzzle only a sufficiently advance technological communicating species could solve? An alien outpost, easily located by it's position and retrograde orbit?  A natural object, captured from the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud of a passing star?     https://youtu.be/R2BydlXEdkA

 

Edited by Hammerclaw
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It's a minor planet in a highly eccentric orbit.  The most likely reason for the orbit is that it collided at some point with another minor planet.  Another possible reason is that it came from the inner solar system and got thrown out there through perturbations.   I think a capture from some other star's retinue is quite unlikely, considering distances, and there would be little point in aliens putting an object so far out and in such a strange orbit.

It will be interesting to see if more such objects are found.  

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Rogue bodies being captured by a different star are not a new idea.  And there's no reason at all that the rogue would have to move in the same direction as the other bodies.  The only thing confusing to me is that the astronomer is confused by what he found.  Mildly surprised is what he should have been.

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maybe this body, "Niku" was captured by the yet to be found ninth planet which lurks out there.

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Not that unusual. Both Venus and Uranus orbit in retrograde motion (clockwise around the sun) as well as many other satellites like Neptune's moon Triton. What I think is unusual is the rest of the planets (including Earth) who orbit prograde (counter clockwise.) Niku is rare, but not really unusual.

Edited by exojjl
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21 hours ago, stevewinn said:

maybe this body, "Niku" was captured by the yet to be found ninth planet which lurks out there.

Technically speaking there are actually about 19 planets so far including Pluto and the objects beyond Pluto that are bigger than Pluto itself. Niku is about 1/6 the size of Pluto.

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1 hour ago, exojjl said:

Not that unusual. Both Venus and Uranus orbit in retrograde motion (clockwise around the sun) as well as many other satellites like Neptune's moon Triton. What I think is unusual is the rest of the planets (including Earth) who orbit prograde (counter clockwise.) Niku is rare, but not really unusual.

venus and Neptune appeare to orbit ckockwise.  because they're upside down.  they still orbit in the same direction as all the other planets and dwarf planets.

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26 minutes ago, danielost said:

venus and Neptune appeare to orbit ckockwise.  because they're upside down.  they still orbit in the same direction as all the other planets and dwarf planets.

Er.....which way is "up" ? How do I tell when a planet is upside-down ? :blink:

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1 hour ago, Habitat said:

Er.....which way is "up" ? How do I tell when a planet is upside-down ? :blink:

I think because in the case of Neptune it's polar north is facing us if I recall.

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
3 hours ago, exojjl said:

Both Venus and Uranus orbit in retrograde motion (clockwise around the sun)

No they don't. Venus and Uranus rotate about their axis in a retrograde motion, that is very different from orbiting... it is the difference between a day and a year, not the same thing at all.

 

3 hours ago, exojjl said:

as well as many other satellites like Neptune's moon Triton.

"Other satellites"? Planets are not satellites. Planets orbit a star, satellites orbit a planet. Again, not the same thing at all.

Retrograde orbiting satellites are believed to be captured objects and did not form around the planet they orbit.

3 hours ago, exojjl said:

What I think is unusual is the rest of the planets (including Earth) who orbit prograde (counter clockwise.)

What is unusual about all the planets orbiting in the same direction? This is a usage of the word "unusual" I'm not familiar with.

As the leading theory of planetary formation (a theory heavily backed up by observational evidence) is that the planets formed from the same rotating dust and gas clouds then ALL planets SHOULD orbit in the same direction (the same direction that the sun rotates) As such there is nothing unusual in this respect about any of the planets in our solar system. There are planets orbiting other stars which do so in a retrograde orbit... they ARE unusual.

 

3 hours ago, exojjl said:

Niku is rare, but not really unusual.

How can something be both rare and not unusual?

The very definition of the word rare is that is is unusual:

Quote

rare

adjective, rarer, rarest.

1. coming or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon

arrow3.gif  Source: dictionary.com

(My emphasis)

At the moment Niku is not only rare, it is unique.

 

1 hour ago, danielost said:

venus and Neptune appeare to orbit ckockwise.

Nope, it's Venus and Uranus and they don't appear to orbit clockwise, they rotate clockwise (see above).

1 hour ago, danielost said:

because they're upside down.

True for Venus which has an axial tilt of 177o not true for Uranus, which has axial tilt of 97.7o (and certainly not true for Neptune which has an axial tilt of 28.32o).

1 hour ago, danielost said:

they still orbit in the same direction as all the other planets and dwarf planets.

Absolutely correct.

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43 minutes ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

"Other satellites"? Planets are not satellites. Planets orbit a star, satellites orbit a planet. Again, not the same thing at all.

Retrograde orbiting satellites are believed to be captured objects and did not form around the planet they orbit.

 

You didn't read what I said. I referred to Triton, the moon, as a satellite. I already know satellites orbits planets. I learned that in the 5th grade. Thank you for being confused at what I said *snip*

Edited by rashore
rules 3c, 3f, 5a, 5e
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
5 minutes ago, exojjl said:

I think because in the case of Neptune it's polar north is facing us if I recall.

No, that's Uranus and it's polar north doesn't point specifically at us.

As I have already said Uranus has an axial tilt of 97.7o. For approximately 25% of it's orbit the north pole will be point towards the sun (northern summer). For approximately 25% of it's orbit the south pole will be facing the sun (northern winter). For the rest of the orbit Uranus' equator will be approximately pointing at the sun (spring and autumn)

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6 minutes ago, Waspie_Dwarf said:

 

Nope, it's Venus and Uranus and they don't appear to orbit clockwise, they rotate clockwise (see above).

 

True for Venus which has an axial tilt of 177o not true for Uranus, which has axial tilt of 97.7o (and certainly not true for Neptune which has an axial tilt of 28.32o).

 

Absolutely correct.

So if Venus orbits counter clockwise like all the other planets then why is it that all the other planets orbit counter clockwise? Your contradicting the facts.

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Posted (IP: Staff) · (edited)
9 minutes ago, exojjl said:

You didn't read what I said. I referred to Triton, the moon, as a satellite. I already know satellites orbits planets. I learned that in the 5th grade. Thank you for being confused at what I said.

I read EXACTLY what you said: You said:

3 hours ago, exojjl said:

Both Venus and Uranus orbit in retrograde motion (clockwise around the sun) as well as many other satellites like Neptune's moon Triton.

The use of the word "other" in that contest means that you are explicitly claiming that Venus and Uranus are also satellites. No such claim would have been made with out the use of the word "other".

I was not confused by what you said, you, apparently, are.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.
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  • The title was changed to Mystery object found orbiting backwards

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