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Not So 'Super' Now? Did an Ancient 'Super Earth' Patrol the Inner Solar System?

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posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 08:34 AM
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Here’s some interesting news about a ‘Super Earth’ that possibly got pulled into the Sun.


"The only (physical) evidence that super-Earths could have formed in our solar system is the lack of anything in that region, not even a rock," said study researcher Rebecca Martin, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
TechTimes link



The idea goes that planets act like sweeping brushes in their solar systems and collect most of the leftover debris from when they were created. We see evidence of this in the number, and size, of craters on moons and planets (including ours). Right now, we haven’t had a massive impact for millions of years and our Earthly flight path is free of doomsday-sized asteroids. We're luckier than the dinosaurs.

If we could go back to the first couple of billions of years, our Solar System was hostile to life with massive collisions occurring in the cold, silence of space. Huge masses would be smashing into each other and smaller bodies would gradually succumb to the gravity of others. What we have left are a few planets and hundreds of smaller moons and moonlets. By comparison to the first few billions of years, the last million or so have been like a California Sunday in summer.

Of course, it’s not all sunbathing and cold drinks as Jupiter found out with the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. Boom, boom, smash can be quite a surprise and something like that would be life-changing for life down here. According to the wisdom of our brightest minds, we're overdue, but the figures are relative with a few variables.



Scientists have wondered how a petite planet like Mercury could have cleared its path? It's like a little bug out there and couldn't have done the 'heavy lifting' required (according to popular models) to clean out all that space between it and the Sun. 'What could have done all that clearing up?' They wondered. A couple of astronomers from NevadaU suspect a giant Earth was responsible (pdf).


Martin and colleagues noted that it is somewhat puzzling that the solar system does not have super-Earths despite that more than half of the exoplanetary systems that have been observed have one. The closest super-Earth to our planet, the HD 219134b, is located 21 light years away.

The fact that there is nothing inside Mercury's orbit, however, may not just be a coincidence as an in situ formation in that region may have cleared the solid materials.

The researchers, however, noted that the super-Earth that formed would eventually be devoured by the sun given the right conditions.
Sun Devoured Young Super-Earth During Formation Of Solar System

They say it’s possible a ‘super Earth’ once orbited the Sun and would have dwarfed our own world. I can only imagine what our skies would look like with something like that out there. It might have been a daylight star if it was big enough and the thinking goes that this massive Earth succumbed to the pull of the Sun and was destroyed. Presumably this would have taken millions of years and must have been some sight when, or if, it finally increased its orbital decay and sped down into the Sun.

It makes me think of such things as the Anthropic priniple and how we couldn’t be here now if conditions hadn’t worked out just so. Obviously, I don’t know what effects a super-sized Earth could have had on other bodies in our system. However, with our ‘Goldilocks zones’ and our regular tides and Life’s preference for temperate conditions, any extra factor could have rendered this system sterile.

If such a monster existed, we should be very grateful that its metaphorical sacrifice ensured that we could live. One thing's for sure though, it ain't so super now, huh?




posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 11:56 AM
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19 flags and no comments. They must be reserved for the political chaos.

Neat theory, haven't heard of it before.

Seeing a large earth like planet within our neighborhood would be a tremendous sight, and if such conditions were right, life may of flourished there too!

And that means aliens


Haha.. silliness aside, good thread s&f



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 12:56 PM
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I don't know ... Saturn's rings, the asteroid belt and the Kuiper belt considered. Too many high-speed gravitational computations for my tiny mind. I'd think a Super Earth would break up and leave lots of debris behind ... if it was orbiting the Sun long enough to sweep up in the inner solar system. It's kind of contradictory, isn't it?

I also remember something about a massive amount of solid material (iron?) being sufficient to 'extinguish the Sun'.

I've got my own theory of where the planets came from. I laid it out in laymen's terms ... and it got poo-pooed by some academics ... and then they went to their offices and tried to work it out mathematically. I tend to keep such things to myself now.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

First I've of this...

Makes a certain sort of sense, given the lack of rocks and assorted bodies in that region of the solar system...



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: Elementalist



19 flags and no comments.


I thought the same thing! Will put it down to ATS friends who are sympathetic enough to flag my thread and not interested enough to post in it. Them's the breaks and it could be 'flag karma' after I flag way more threads than I post in.


a reply to: Snarl

I'm 'all-in' for the conventional model of accretion discs etc. I did lose direction in the OP because it set out as a 'look at this news' thing and got sidetracked into the meaningfulness of the circumstances that allow us to be having this conversation.

As far as we know, a 'super Earth' could be swallowed several times over by a star the size of our Sun. There's been a fascinating paper in recent years that implicated events like that with creating massive solar flares. One or two of them have tie-ins with significant extinctions. As I recall, the hypothesis wasn't embraced due to a lack of observable massive solar impacts in our recorded history.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 04:56 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Interesting article. I am not so sure about this theory though, since there is not even a rock in between Mercury and the Sun, I would think it is more likely that the reason is because there is no gravity ring there, or no natural way for anything to be there. Planets and materials can't just pick a spot away from the sun and start orbiting where they want, they are where they are because they can't go anywhere else because they are in a gravity track so to speak.
I'm not saying he is wrong, and I may be wrong as well, but the place holders of planets, if they can be called that, are naturally there because of the sun's gravity and the effects of the sun displacing space where it is also in it's own orbit ring, orbiting the center of the galaxy.

Thoughts?




posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 05:02 PM
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Okay, I'll post something because I want to help encourage you into posting more! I admit to a few S&F's and quiet silence.

Our solar system has some puzzlers... I'm still trying to work out how the heck Venus and Uranus have retrograde rotations, let alone possibly missing super sized rocky chunks spinning around our lovely nuclear furnace... and know enough to leave it for the astrophysicists, heh... at least on Sunday afternoons when my brain is set to "low."

Makes me want to remember how I used to see it all when wee... the incredible weirdness of why everything is as it is before one learns the names to everything and the descriptors regarding their usual motions (thanks sir Isaac).

I'm still of the opinion that our very existence here is far too improbable, heh, despite knowing about stats... and "god" doesn't help a bit with that one.

Why aren't we all winning the lottery? (Kidding mathaholics)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 07:25 PM
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Interesting idea though I don't know how you'd test it. I don't know what this next theory is called, but the inner planets appear to be at uniform distances apart, distances apart enough to form a pattern. They are in 30 million mile increments and this doesn't break down until you get to Jupiter, where things start doubling, so still a pattern of sorts. So if there were a Super Earth, it would defy this pattern, so one wonders where it possibly could have fit.

Mercury: 36 million miles
Venus: 67 million miles
Earth: 93 million miles
Mars: 141 million
Asteroid belt: 180-190 million miles
Jupiter: 483 million miles
Saturn: 889 million miles
Uranus: 1.8 billion miles
Neptune: 2.8 billion
Pluto: 3.67 billion

edit on 4/17/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I like the theory, bookmarking for later to read the study.



posted on Apr, 17 2016 @ 11:53 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

The whole clearance was done by our sister sun and other planets before the sun changed and was thrown into a far orbit carrying some of the other planets with it



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 03:06 AM
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a reply to: NoCorruptionAllowed

Hiya, you should have a read of the paper. Sure, a lot of it is in the sphere of high-end physics so skim past the maths in there. There are ideas about planetary formation that I wasn't aware of like the density of planets is dictated by the time of their birth and placement along the accretion disc. They speak of how this 'superEarth' could have existed in the early days of Solar System and discuss the mechanics of *how.* For example, they cite models that allow for a huge body in that area that doesn't have the density of an Earth. It'd be more gaseous than our planet and by process of many orbits accrue much of the loose matter.

In my mind's eye, it looks like a denser version of Phobos. Almost like a rubble pile asteroid, but this speculative planet would have a molten core due to the proximity to the Sun and it's orbit of +/-100 days.

They talk through a couple of models that would allow for the creation of a Super Earth at a distance from the Sun and then moving nearer. One of the key differences between the models being where exactly such a giant would begin to form in the first place.



a reply to: Baddogma




I'm still of the opinion that our very existence here is far too improbable, heh, despite knowing about stats... and "god" doesn't help a bit with that one.


That's what got my synapses firing as they always do on this topic and I'm not invoking special forces here because that way is turtles all the way down. It's the sheer mind-splitting improbability that we should be here now. Blues seas, blue skies and life in all its wonder. Then we look sideways at Mars, Europa, Venus and Mercury et al and they're either battered, boiling or frozen. Squint a little further and very, very few of the exoplanetary systems have conditions conducive to what we have here.

We've missed so many bullets, it becomes tantamount to 'miraculous' or plain old unbelievable.

I guess we do 'win the lottery' by being alive on a world with this much longevity.



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 03:20 AM
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a reply to: schuyler

They go some way to 'testing' the idea using examples in other exoplanetary systems - super earths exist in more than half of them. They apply a number of models to work out if the idea is tenable. For example, they consider the parameters for how much matter would be available and at what period of time. There are models of solar system creation that work from different levels of turbulence. Using the calculations for probable material, they explore the outcomes using several models of turbulence and different variables.

It's certainly interesting to a poorly educated science fan boy like me.

The point you make about apparent regularity of the intervals between planets could be explained by the models in the paper. What we now see as a steady system wouldn't have always been that way. Back in the millennia of planetary creation, the planets would have (pardon the low brow term) 'jostled' for positions. Perhaps what we don't see are the bodies that 'lost' and were either knocked out of the system or went back into the Sun?



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: Baddogma

The answer lies within, not without.

Wrong mindset you've got, if you want to solve the universal riddle that is. One does not perceive Truth let alone comprehend it if one is not ready to embrace it fully.



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 07:37 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky


Scientists have wondered how a petite planet like Mercury could have cleared its path? It's like a little bug out there and couldn't have done the 'heavy lifting' required (according to popular models) to clean out all that space between it and the Sun. 'What could have done all that clearing up?' They wondered. A couple of astronomers from NevadaU suspect a giant Earth was responsible (pdf).

More like the sun itself. Nothing like the size and attractiveness of a star to sweep the inner solar system of 'debris'.



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 01:04 PM
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so we assume, make hypothesis, then make the numbers make sense.

science is becoming more like philosophy... based on observable truths.

so can i make claims because of lack of evidence too?



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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originally posted by: odzeandennz
so we assume, make hypothesis, then make the numbers make sense.

science is becoming more like philosophy... based on observable truths.

so can i make claims because of lack of evidence too?


You haven't read the paper?



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 04:07 PM
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a reply to: Snarl

I think what you mean in regard to iron and the sun is that when it starts to produce iron in its reaction then it's game over for the sun. You couldn't extinguish the sun by shooting iron into it as far as I know.



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Astronomers theorize that Mercury's exceptional density is result of collision with another planetary body which stripped off
outer layer of planet leaving behind the dense iron core

Similar collision , the "THEA HYPOTHESIS". where a planetary body size of Mars crashed into early Earth . Resulting debris
cloud recombined into the Moon.

Were plenty of flying objects in early solar system ........



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 04:26 PM
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a reply to: firerescue

That's a good addition to the thread! Thanks


It crossed my mind that Mercury could have been a surviving moon of the speculative 'super Earth.' I was also reminded of the popular explanation of how our own moon came about when a large mass collided with an infant Earth.

The models use the term 'turbulent' whereas I think of a drunk breaking off on the pool table


Obviously, I'll defer to the scientists lol



posted on Apr, 18 2016 @ 04:32 PM
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This would possibly be the first time that the complete absence of something would be potential evidence something was actually there.



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