Two further planets?

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,382
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Our Solar System has just lost a planet, Pluto, confined in the not prestigious category of "dwarf planet", but it seems that two big planets could be out there, beyond Pluto orbit.

According to calculations, based on the analysis of the orbits of the most external bodies of the Solar System, very far from the sun, there should be two solid iced planets [so considerable objects, even two times bigger than the Earth].

The elaboration had run by the super computer c/o Complutense University, Madrid, and Cambridge University, UK.

There May Be 'Super Earths' at the Edge of Our Solar System

If this is the case we are passing from 9 to 8 to 10 planets in some years!

The most doubtful aspect of these possible planets is the distance of their orbits from the star, but other planets around other stars have been discovered on similar extremely external orbits.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2014
51
Rio de Janeiro
No, the act of condensation itself generates heat (the gravitational potential energy of all the infalling matter has to go somewhere). There are large, cold objects in the cosmos, but those are stellar remnants and not something that formed recently or still is forming.

As for the planets, I respect Fuente and Complutense, but I don't think he's on to something. It's hard for us to explain how something this massive could be this far away. I'll be glad to be proven wrong, but until they can point to a set of coordinates and find something there, I won't be holding my breath.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,382
Italy, Lago Maggiore
No, the act of condensation itself generates heat (the gravitational potential energy of all the infalling matter has to go somewhere). There are large, cold objects in the cosmos, but those are stellar remnants and not something that formed recently or still is forming.

As for the planets, I respect Fuente and Complutense, but I don't think he's on to something. It's hard for us to explain how something this massive could be this far away. I'll be glad to be proven wrong, but until they can point to a set of coordinates and find something there, I won't be holding my breath.
And it won't be that easy to find out if they exist for real ... since they are very far their reflected luminosity is so weak and their apparent motion in the sky is so slow that it's difficult to note them on the background of the stars.

It's necessary to make well accurate calculation to have more indications as possible about where to aim with the telescopes.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
No, the act of condensation itself generates heat (the gravitational potential energy of all the infalling matter has to go somewhere). There are large, cold objects in the cosmos, but those are stellar remnants and not something that formed recently or still is forming.v
If that was in response to my post I would have to disagree. There's nothing to stop planetary formation not associated with a star. And it would be rather cold if it condensed a few billion years ago. Things I've read recently say that unassociated planets may be more common than those in solar systems.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,382
Italy, Lago Maggiore
If that was in response to my post I would have to disagree. There's nothing to stop planetary formation not associated with a star. And it would be rather cold if it condensed a few billion years ago. Things I've read recently say that unassociated planets may be more common than those in solar systems.
Absolutely correct, nothing can exclude that we are talking about "rouge planets" captured by the gravity of our star ...

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_planet]Rogue planet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 
Nov 2014
51
Rio de Janeiro
If that was in response to my post I would have to disagree. There's nothing to stop planetary formation not associated with a star. And it would be rather cold if it condensed a few billion years ago. Things I've read recently say that unassociated planets may be more common than those in solar systems.
Absolutely correct, nothing can exclude that we are talking about "rouge planets" captured by the gravity of our star ...

Rogue planet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sorry about not actually quoting you, OpanaPointer. Yes, I was responding to your post. I have nothing against substellar objects which have condensed "a few billion years ago", but when you said "the Pillars of Creation could have cold bodies condensing inside them", it implied that they were condensing right now and not a billion years ago.

If they're condensing right now, then of course they must be using a standard core collapse mechanism. In this case, either the molecular cloud that's doing the collapsing is exceptionally light, in which case the collapse is veeeeryyyy sloooooowww, or it's more massive, and the condensation at the center might exceed the 80 Jupiter masses threshold for Hydrogen fusion.

On the other hand, obviously the chaos of accretion disk coalescing which generates planetary system is liable to scatter lots of matter outwards and past escape velocity for the newborn star, generating the rogue planets (or rogue subplanetary objects) mentioned by AlpinLuke. But the collapse itself is an extremely exothermic process, so most matter undergoing it is heating up quite a bit. That means that rogue planets which have just formed are still molten, and it will take a while for them to cool down to a temperature where they can be called "cold bodies".
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
I am saying they might be condensing right now based on the fact that there's nothing to stop them from doing so. And the speed of the condensation would depend on the density of the matter in their area of influence, their gravity well. This does not require stellar mass.
 
Nov 2014
51
Rio de Janeiro
But this is the thing: if there is a condensing cloud, it will heat up naturally: this is just conservation of energy. Thus, if there is anything condensing in the Pillars of Creation, it will show up as a warm spot.

Also, speed depends on the density, yes, but even a "dense" molecular cloud only has 10¹⁰ molecules per cubic metre. That's about 100 femtomoles per cubic metre. So in practice, only large clouds can generate kernels which coalesce quickly enough not to be blown away by igniting protostars nearby. And those kernels have enough infalling matter that they'll easily cross at least Deuterium fusion point (~13 Jupiter masses).