Probable ninth planet?

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sevenperforce
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Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:17 pm UTC


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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby cyanyoshi » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:08 am UTC

As tempted as I am to say "pics or it didn't happen", this is really quite awesome. It's not every day you stumble upon a likely planet in our very own solar system! But seriously, let's get some pics.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Thesh » Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:26 am UTC

Ah, but is it a planet, or is it Nemesis?
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby ijuin » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:12 am UTC

Yeah, let's see them plot the hypothetical planet's location and then photograph it with a telescope.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:14 am UTC

That's what they're planning to do, using the Subaru telescope.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:50 pm UTC

They can plot the planet's orbit using the modeling, but they have no idea where in its orbit it might be.

I hope that existing deep-sky surveys have already spotted it!

Is there any way to access existing deep-sky surveys along the probable orbit and manually scroll through to see if a moving object can be spotted?

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:59 pm UTC

Can someone explain why a planetary mass is required for all the far out objects to orbit 'in one direction'? Does it have something to do with how elliptical their orbits are?
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:15 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Can someone explain why a planetary mass is required for all the far out objects to orbit 'in one direction'? Does it have something to do with how elliptical their orbits are?

Pretty much all the trans-Neptunian objects orbit in resonances with Neptune, with precession and so forth governed by Neptune's eccentricity. Except that this handful of larger, farther objects didn't. A ninth planet with significant mass in an "opposite" orbit would match the resonance of these anomalous bodies while also governing the orbital resonances of several perpendicularly-aligned bodies.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby jestingrabbit » Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:39 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Can someone explain why a planetary mass is required for all the far out objects to orbit 'in one direction'? Does it have something to do with how elliptical their orbits are?


Well, working with what I know, the big planets that move pretty quick are all going in the same direction to preserve the angular momentum of the inital dust cloud. As you get further out, there's less, and its moving slower, so its not really doing as much as far as that particular problem goes, and you might expect that they'd be less orderly as there was nothing "gained" by orbiting in a more orderly manner. So, why are they orderly? Something has to explain that. They think this does, it will be nice to get an actual observation.

Roughly speaking, that's why. Someone else probably knows a lot more though.

Thesh wrote:Ah, but is it a planet, or is it Nemesis?


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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby ijuin » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:23 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Can someone explain why a planetary mass is required for all the far out objects to orbit 'in one direction'? Does it have something to do with how elliptical their orbits are?


The issue is not so much that they are orbiting in the same direction as it is that there is a synchronization between their orbital periods. For example, Pluto is drawn into a 3:2 orbital resonance with Neptune due to Neptune's gravity. While the Scattered Disk Objects in question don't have the same periods as each other, they do seem to cluster around some low-number ratio compared to a phantom object (3:2, 2:1. 4:3, 5:3, 5:2, etc.).

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:48 pm UTC

Ah, gotcha. Thanks.

Without that object, they would become destabilized?
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:53 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Ah, gotcha. Thanks.

Without that object, they would become destabilized?

They wouldn't be destabilized -- their orbits would still be stable -- but the orbital distances and eccentricities would be random, so they wouldn't have orbital period resonances with each other. Or, they'd have orbital period resonances with Neptune.

As a general rule, if you have a group of objects with resonant orbital periods, they must be mutually locked to some large mass. If they are large enough, this mass can simply be their collective mass...but if not, then it must be some other mass. Since these are locked to each other but not to Neptune, and they are 100 times too small to lock collectively, they must be locked to some other mass, the size and period of which can be deduced from modeling. QED.

I wonder if this object was in the right range to be the culprit. Might give us a better idea of where to look.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:36 am UTC

Not strictly related, but since Ix is thought to be an ice giant....

I don't think I'd ever noticed the term "ice giant" before, and I find it suddenly annoying. I get it - the solar system is made of rocks, gas, and ice, and each class of planet is effectively dominated by constituents from one of those things, because that's how gravity and the relative abundance of each of these things work (gas giants have ice giants inside that have rocky planets inside.) I also get that not all the gas in gas giants and not all the rock in rocky planets are actually in those states. But couldn't they have chosen a word that didn't specify the one state of matter that isn't present? = .
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby ijuin » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:12 am UTC

In astrochemistry, the state that matter is in is irrelevant in terms of labeling something as rock/ice/gas--what matters is what chemical substances it is composed of. Raw lightweight elements (hydrogen, helium, occasionally nitrogen/oxygen/fluorine) are always called "gases". Heavier elements are always called "rock" or "metal". Simple compounds involving one or more gases (water, ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide, etc.) are always called "ices".

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:34 am UTC

Raw lightweight elements (hydrogen, helium, occasionally nitrogen/oxygen/fluorine) are always called "gases".

But those things are called "metallicity" in a star. It seems context-dependent and exactly the opposite of a strict and connotation-free system. At the very least, it's an awkward historical accident. If the composition of Neptune and Uranus had been known before the composition of comets, I really can't see how we would have come to the conclusion that "ice" was a good name for those materials, even if they resemble "ice" as we think of it at this sort of "interplanetary space STP".

So it specifically refers to materials composed of compounds of light(er) elements? Methane, water, or CO2 is always an "ice"?
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby KarenRei » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:08 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:So it specifically refers to materials composed of compounds of light(er) elements? Methane, water, or CO2 is always an "ice"?


In their solid form. This is not a term unique to astronomy, cryosolids that are gases at room temperature are commonly known as ices in many fields. Ice giants have large interior made out of ices (including water ice, albeit in unconventional crystal states) with a (proportionally) small rocky core. Gas giants have a large interior made of (we believe) metallic hydrogen with a (proportionally) small rock/ice core. So ice giants are dominated by ices, while gas giants are dominated by metallic hydrogen. So the latter would perhaps more appropriately be called "metallic hydrogen giants", but "ice giants" is a very appropriate term for Uranus and Neptune. And this new hypothetical body, should it exist.

What I find really interesting is the possibility that this may be a whole new type of world. At 1000+ AU you might potentially have the hydrogen condensing out to hydrogen seas, which would leave a (proportionally) low pressure helium atmosphere over it. But those seas would boil off near perihelion. The properties of such a world would be exceedingly bizarre. One of the neater properties is that its day length would change as the hydrogen condensed out and boiled off, which would throw a ton more energy into the tidal heating of moons - they couldn't fix into a permanently locked state. You might get some weird effects from liquid hydrogen tides or currents as well. Also when the seas were condensed out both them and the atmosphere would be essentially 100% pure, as nothing else remains a gas at those temperatures and nothing floats in or forms eutectics with liquid hydrogen under those conditions. And I can't even imagine what a surface forming underneath liquid hydrogen seas would be like, either from a morphological or chemical standpoint. I'd expect the helium atmosphere to be depleted in 3He, as 4He is a perfect neutron moderator and would moderate any incident neutrons down to extremely low temperatures - and there'd be no hydrogen in the atmosphere to do the neutron capture, so it'd have to be 3He. Also, under the atmosphere (at perihelion) or under the hydrogen seas (aphelion) there's a wide range of other possible fluids, depending on the temperature/pressure curve - nitrogen, methane/other hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, neon, water, etc.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:07 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:So it specifically refers to materials composed of compounds of light(er) elements? Methane, water, or CO2 is always an "ice"?


In their solid form. This is not a term unique to astronomy, cryosolids that are gases at room temperature are commonly known as ices in many fields. Ice giants have large interior made out of ices (including water ice, albeit in unconventional crystal states) with a (proportionally) small rocky core. Gas giants have a large interior made of (we believe) metallic hydrogen with a (proportionally) small rock/ice core. So ice giants are dominated by ices, while gas giants are dominated by metallic hydrogen. So the latter would perhaps more appropriately be called "metallic hydrogen giants", but "ice giants" is a very appropriate term for Uranus and Neptune. And this new hypothetical body, should it exist.

I wasn't questioning the relevance of referring to something like methane or carbon dioxide in its solid form as "ice". I don't know where one would begin to make that argument. I feel like the simple fact that water ice is referred to as such makes it fairly obvious that "ice" doesn't mean "water".

ijuin specifically said that the state didn't matter, which makes "ice" a really odd term to me; I'm seeing the phrase "volatile compounds" or simply "volatiles" used more commonly for that meaning in contexts other than the phrase "ice giant", and it's a much better term. Simultaneously, various sources that seem like they ought to know things describe the compressed volatiles of the mantle of Uranus and Neptune variously as liquid, slush, gas, or supercritical fluid,* sometimes in combinations within the same source. If "ice" in the phrase "ice giant" actually is meant to connote solids after all, as you're saying, then even fewer people seem to know that than that it doesn't.

* As well as "methane, ammonia, and water ice", which would by itself seem rather redundant if "ice" means "things like methane, ammonia, and water", but whether it's actually meant in these sources to connote a solid state or really is just a redundancy I can't guess at this point.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby KarenRei » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:57 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:ijuin specifically said that the state didn't matter, which makes "ice" a really odd term to me; I'm seeing the phrase "volatile compounds" or simply "volatiles" used more commonly for that meaning in contexts other than the phrase "ice giant", and it's a much better term.


Ice giants is a quite appropriate term, as they really are largely comprised of ices.

Simultaneously, various sources that seem like they ought to know things describe the compressed volatiles of the mantle of Uranus and Neptune variously as liquid, slush, gas, or supercritical fluid,*


Well, terms do get a bit tricky at those pressures. Their mantle is "fluid", but it's also crystalline. So take your pick of terms. It's worth pointing out that even our mantle on Earth flows, but we still call it a solid. Put simply though, our 1ATM-terminology is a poor mapping for what occurs at high pressures.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:14 am UTC

KarenRei wrote:Well, terms do get a bit tricky at those pressures. Their mantle is "fluid", but it's also crystalline.

Don't take this the wrong way, but could I get a source on this? I mean, having a layer at which things shift from liquid to solid due to pressure isn't surprising in itself, but I don't think the way you're using "fluid" and the way these sources are using "fluid" is the same one.

So take your pick of terms. It's worth pointing out that even our mantle on Earth flows, but we still call it a solid.

Solids flow on that time and size scale, which is to say that solids have the least fluidity, but not zero - there's no sense in which the mantle is "a fluid".
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby KarenRei » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:29 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
KarenRei wrote:Well, terms do get a bit tricky at those pressures. Their mantle is "fluid", but it's also crystalline.

Don't take this the wrong way, but could I get a source on this? I mean, having a layer at which things shift from liquid to solid due to pressure isn't surprising in itself, but I don't think the way you're using "fluid" and the way these sources are using "fluid" is the same one.


I obviously am not going to take the time to pick every single compound from inside giant interiors and go every one of their possible phases. But to pick an easy one to find papers on, metallic hydrogen has a viscosity of 0.002 Pa s at 0.35 cm3/mol and 0.0004 Pa at 1.3 cm3/mol (http://link.springer.com/article/10.113 ... 4406130061, compared to water at about 0.0009, linseed oil at 0.03 and glycerine at around 1.0. So quite fluid indeed. And it's believed to exist in a diamond cubic crystal structure (http://people.physics.illinois.edu/Cepe ... rs/074.pdf)

When you're dealing with extreme pressures, regardless of what compound you're dealing with, you're very likely to end up with some sort of crystal structure, even if the viscosity is low.

Solids flow on that time and size scale, which is to say that solids have the least fluidity, but not zero - there's no sense in which the mantle is "a fluid".


Meh, everything is comparative; it's (depending on the model) about a thousand to a million times lower viscosity than the crust. A fluid is something that flows (deforms under stress). It literally comes from the same root as "flow". For very high viscosity flowing substances like the mantle they're usually classed as "viscoelastic fluids" - they behave like solids over short time scales but fluids over long time scales; they resist change but slowly relax into a lower stress state over long time scales. Mantle flow is generally studied as part of fluid dynamics.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:46 am UTC

I'm aware that "fluid" and "flow" have the same root, which is why I said that solids don't have zero fluidity instead of just saying that solids also flow. This is ... probably enough spent on my derail, but I have to say I'm finding ijuin's definitions far more convincing the longer it goes.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby jestingrabbit » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:21 pm UTC

Question: Would the Wise-Field Infrared Survey Explorer data have the evidence for such a planet, just uncollated?
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:19 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:Question: Would the Wise-Field Infrared Survey Explorer data have the evidence for such a planet, just uncollated?

Depends on the size and location, I think.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:38 pm UTC

sevenperforce wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:Question: Would the Wise-Field Infrared Survey Explorer data have the evidence for such a planet, just uncollated?

Depends on the size and location, I think.

According to a recent xkcd, that is right, and no doubt it was designed to find objects that we already had a pretty decent idea about. Still, it might be in the data somewhere, just not picked out properly yet.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Mon Jan 25, 2016 4:50 pm UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:
jestingrabbit wrote:Question: Would the Wise-Field Infrared Survey Explorer data have the evidence for such a planet, just uncollated?

Depends on the size and location, I think.

According to a recent xkcd, that is right, and no doubt it was designed to find objects that we already had a pretty decent idea about. Still, it might be in the data somewhere, just not picked out properly yet.

Which is why a crowdsourced search of the right WFISE data could turn it up.

How cool would that be -- finding the ninth planet at home?

I mentioned this earlier, but I'm really curious to know whether this object is in the right plane and has the right distance/size match to be Planet Nine.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:25 pm UTC

I don't think so. This article mentions very different predictions for size, a little closer and a lot smaller. (And on a wildly inclined orbital plane.)
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby sevenperforce » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:36 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I don't think so. This article mentions very different predictions for size, a little closer and a lot smaller. (And on a wildly inclined orbital plane.)

Oh well.

I still want to see someone set up a way for people at home to flip through wide field sky surveys along the predicted orbital path to look for it.

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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:28 pm UTC

That would be pretty damn awesome.

And yeah, I had a similar moment of "wait, wasn't there another" and then "awwwww" when I made the connection between those two releases, too. What I didn't know until reading your article was that Mike Brown had called shenanigans on the proposed super-earth.

Shit, what if they had been the same object?

....

Let's combine these ideas and launch scoopingmikebrown@home.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:52 pm UTC

Double-posting to respond to myself - specifically, kicking myself, as I've apparently been a bit behind on the news around this following my usual strategy of waiting for things to pop up on Reddit.

This popped up on Reddit. It links this, which is Brown and Batygin's own launch of scoopingmikebrown@home. It explains everything predicted about the orbit and how to find it. Apparently poking through the WISE catalogue is both unadvised and underway:

Two years ago, using data from the WISE survey (a thermal infrared wide field all sky survey in space) Kevin Luhman showed that there were no Jupiter or Saturn mass Planet Xs out to a vast distance. Sadly, the survey is not very sensitive to ~Neptune sized objects, which could barely be seen to Planet Nine's ~200 AU closest approach. Luhman has redone the survey using the more sensitive bands of the WISE data (but which covers a very limited part of the sky), and reports that there is still nothing there. He is still trying to understand what the limits are for a ~10 earth mass object, but we have hope that WISE would have seen Planet Nine in the section near Planet Nine's perihelion where it crosses the Milky Way. Stay tuned.


But if you want numbers, there are certainly numbers. = o (And also a chart that may have inspired the xkcd.)
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:58 pm UTC

KarenRei wrote:It literally comes from the same root as "flow".
That's not actually that compelling a piece of information by itself, given that "ball", "phallus", and "floral" also come from that same root.
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Re: Probable ninth planet?

Postby KarenRei » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:21 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
KarenRei wrote:It literally comes from the same root as "flow".
That's not actually that compelling a piece of information by itself, given that "ball", "phallus", and "floral" also come from that same root.


Except for, of course, the latter are related back in PIE (4th to 7th millenium BC), while the former are related in from the 15th century. Regardless, that's a total tangent; the point is that there's no clear dividing line between solids and fluids, and there's no point to obsessing over whether to call the internal states of giant planets solids or liquids. They both flow with fairly low viscosity (very low viscosity in the case of hydrogen), and are generally crystalline (on the small scale). Really, if you wanted a state of matter to call them, "liquid crystal" would probably be best. And heck, in these environments there's often not a clear boundary between gases and liquids either, there's often a smooth transition through supercritical states.

The states things take there are very much different from what we're used to on Earth. For example, on Uranus and Neptune, carbon is believed (within a temperature and pressure range) to take on the form of liquid diamond, with "diamondbergs" on the top:

http://www.nature.com/nphys/journal/v6/ ... s1491.html

However even those "diamondbergs" would exist as viscoelastic fluids.


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