Ninth Stone From the Sun

MAGIC Quantum Mechanic
MAGIC Quantum M...
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Topic 198387
Sasa Jovicic
Sasa Jovicic
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Ninth Stone From the Sun

If it proves correct, I suggest that the new planet we give the name of Messi! This guy deserves his own planet!

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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This is their paper, I'll

This is their paper, I'll have a good look at this ... and of course this is where the UFO's have been coming from all along. Commander Straker was right ! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Wow ! This is really amazing work by these guys ...... :-)

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Mike Hewson
Mike Hewson
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OK. What do we have ? Some

OK. What do we have ? Some solar system celestial mechanics 101 ....

- the Earth goes around the Sun in a plane. The path that it follows we call an orbit. That plane is called The Ecliptic and is the reference plane for most of the discussion in the paper. This plane extends to infinity.

- 'south' of the ecliptic plane is defined as that volume/sense on the same side as our South Pole ( crunchy penguins ), likewise 'north' is that on the same side as our North Pole ( white bears ).

- if you like : all points in The Universe can be placed in one ( only ) of the following three categories (a) points on the Ecliptic, (b) points to the north of the Ecliptic and (c) points to the south of the Ecliptic.

- there is a point on the Earth's orbit which is nominated as The Vernal Equinox ( 'vernal' for springtime, northern hemisphere ). It is so designated due to an interesting intersection with a terrestrial coordinate system. But confusingly The Vernal Equinox may also refer to the position of the Sun in the sky as viewed from Earth, when the Earth is at that particular orbital point. That is a fascinating topic in it's own right ( chuckle ) but really not an issue here, so I'll leave it be.

- with regard to The Vernal Equinox one can mark out the rest of the orbit by an angle called - yes, you guessed it - The Ecliptic Longitude.

- so during the year the Sun's position ( as viewed from the Earth ) goes from zero degrees ecliptic longitude increasing ( easterly as per terrestrial convention ) through 90 degrees ( summer solstice ) then 180 degrees ( autumn equinox ) then 270 degrees ( winter solstice ) and on toward 360 degrees. 360 degrees is of course a full circle so we mark that as zero degrees and around you go again, rinse repeat, laps of the Sun. I've done more than 55 laps of the Sun, 56 including time spent in my mother's tummy. Specifically the Sun has crossed the Vernal Equinox 55 times, going eastwards as seen from Earth's surface, since my first breath of air.

- the rotation of the Earth about it's own axis is thus far involved ONLY in defining (a) exactly where the Vernal Equinox point is ( I've left that out of the discussion ), (b) a positive/increasing sense to the ecliptic longitude angle and (c) which sides of the Ecliptic Plane do we called south/southerly and north/northerly.

- thus far two bodies mentioned, Earth and Sun. They orbit around each other, but we generally say that the Earth 'goes around the Sun' because a distant observer would see alot of movement by the Earth and only a slight wobble of the Sun.

{ The gravitational attraction ( a vector ) on the Earth from the Sun is equal ( magnitude ) and opposite ( direction ) to the gravitational attraction on the Sun from the Earth. That's Newton's action/reaction law. F = MA now applies so for a given magnitude of F : A is small if M is large and A is large if M is small. }

- you don't have to use The Ecliptic Plane as a reference but it is traditional to do so because most solar system objects ( well, the bigger/dominant ones ) have their orbital planes very nearly aligned with the Ecliptic Plane.

- now lets talk about elliptic. That is not ecliptic. No way. Changing the 'l' to a 'c' gives a different word with rather different meaning. I say this especially as I was so confuzzed in my teens when first learning due to that accidental word similarity. Elliptic or elliptical is the shape of an ellipse. An ellipse is a oval-ish closed curve that has special/useful/interesting relevance here because an ellipse is the shape achieved when you solve Newton's Laws for a two body gravitational system.

- so if you look at the Sun plus one other planet/body only then an ellipse is to be described. The ellipse is a curve in a plane. So the Ecliptic Plane is that plane for the elliptical orbit that the Earth has around the Sun. Phew ! :-0

- the perihelion is that point on said ellipse for which the planet is closest to the Sun. The aphelion is the point on the ellipse for which the planet is furthest from the Sun.

- Neither the Earth's perihelion/aphelion are the Vernal Equinox. That's a common misunderstanding. In fact you can define an angle b/w those two distinct points. If you like, while sitting on Earth, as the moment of perihelion occurs take a vector to where the Sun ( it's centre actually ) is and compare that with ( a vector to ) the point in the sky designated as the Vernal Equinox. Take the angle b/w those two vectors and call it The Argument of Perihelion.

- the 'size' of an orbit is really a specific number derived from the extents of the ellipse. Make a line from the perihelion to the aphelion. That goes through the ellipse from one side to the other. In fact it is the longest such line that can be made from any two ( different ) points on the ellipse. Call that line the major axis or even the poncier name 'Line Of Apsides'. We generally quote the size of an orbit as being half the length of that longest line, now the so-called semi-major axis. The word 'radius' in this context is that length too.

- the radius of the Earth's orbit is exceptionally well known. Here we will just say that the value is one Astronomical Unit ( abbrev AU ) in much the same sense as we say an Imperial Foot is one third the length of a dead English King's stride. You pick a ruler and stick with it. :-)

- now let's include another body, say one of these Kuiper objects. It will have it's own plane of orbit around the Sun, it's own perihelion etc. And that will be tilted at some angle with respect to The Ecliptic. Call this angle b/w the planes the orbital inclination. Geometrically what is defined when two such ( non-parallel ) planes intersect ? You get a line. If you follow the object during it's orbit say, beginning when it is south of the Ecliptic it will chug along until it crosses the Ecliptic ( going south to north ) where it is momentarily at a point on the Ecliptic called The Ascending Node. It will chug around further until it comes back to the ecliptic where it will cross The Ecliptic again ( going from north to south ) at The Descending Node.

- the Longitude Of The Ascending Node is that angle ( defined as above with respect to our chosen reference frame ) between the Vernal Equinox and that body's Ascending Node.

Key Points ( finally ! ) for the objects studied in the paper, their :

- Longitude Of Ascending Node values cluster closely around a certain value ~ 113 ( +/- 13 ) degrees.

- Arguments of Perihelion values cluster closely around a certain value ~ 318 ( +/- 8 ) degrees.

- orbital sizes are more than 150 AU.

- orbital inclinations are relatively high ( compared with the solar system objects in general ).

Hence from an Earth viewpoint I could look in the relevant direction(s) out quite a way and see these objects coming into a large volume of space, more or less shaped like a truncated cone, and see them coming through with the ( suspicious ) pattern as specified.

So the germ idea here is that is all rather too much of a co-incidence. For that to occur by random causes is a pretty low probability - seven chances in 100,000 - and may be explained by a dynamic cause. Meaning that a configuration of other object(s) yet to be detected could be arranging by long term gravitational effects the pattern that is measured. Of which, in the author's opinion, is most simply explained by a single and relatively large gas giant out there, using a legitimate resonance mechanism acting over extremely long times .....

.... we potentially have a current day version of the ( approximate ) methodology\heuristic involved in the discovery of Uranus and Neptune !

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Whoops, other issues of extreme importance :

- there has already been a partial verification of the hypothesis in that a group of objects ( not any of those used in construction of the hypothesis ) has been found to agree in their orbital parameters consistent with the presence/influence of the new planet.

- their hypothesis is falsifiable in that further observations may be made to test truth aka. image the planet and/or discovery of other bodies in likewise patterns.

- the paucity of objects in the 50 to 70 AU zone is very reminiscent of the vacuum cleaner effect that Jupiter has in the inner solar system to clear and regularise the orbits of the asteroids. Resonance has big role here too.

( edit ) Apart from the obvious advice of getting a textbook on celestial mechanics I would highly recommend Newton's Clock : Chaos in The Solar System by Ivars Peterson.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

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From the Planetary Society

From the Planetary Society ... a map narrowing down the location of where you will find it

I liked the "location ruled out because i would be inside it" and the accurate positioning of Earth.

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