February 14, 2011

Colossal New Planet 'Tyche' Trumps Jupiter Four Times Over

A newly discovered planet at the edge of our solar system may be up to four times as large as Jupiter, scientists believe.

John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette claim data captured by  Nasa's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) proves its existence and it will only take two years to confirm this discovery.

(Nasa's WISE Satellite)

Named Tyche (pronounced ty-kee), the huge gas-planet is believed to reside within the remote Oort Cloud Region. Details of the obscure planet are that it has rings, moons, and is predicted to be composed of mostly hydrogen and helium.

With an orbit thousands of times further from the Sun than the Earth, it’s no wonder the existence of Tyche has remained virtually unknown. Located among the billions of asteroids in the Oort cloud, a hypothesized spherical cloud one light year in radius from the Sun, Tyche has the potential to become the new ninth planet after Pluto’s recent demise.

What would confirm Tyche as a planet is its abnormal temperature (predicted to be -73°C) compared to the icy asteroids surrounding it with temperatures nearing absolute zero.

If confirmed, this discovery would be incredibly significant in both cultural and scientific niches. We’d be back to nine planets, we could rename Tyche ‘Pluto Jr’. instead of some ancient Goddess, and it very might just be the first planet born in another star system and captured by ours. Looks like our Oort Cloud just committed the robbery.