Does the Oort Cloud Exist?

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posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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I'm really confused and I'm asking for my fellow ATS members help. I keep reading science articles that say comets come from the Oort Cloud, and yet the Oort Cloud has never been observed and is only a hypothesis.

Here is what I find confusing. I'm reading an article on a respected website like SpaceWeather.com about Comet PanSTARRS and it states:



Comet PanSTARRS has never been to inner solar system before. It is falling in from the Oort cloud, a great swarm of comets beyond Neptune and Pluto unaltered by the warmth of the sun.


Source

Now from the way this is written, the average person would think that the Oort Cloud is a fact. However, it doesn't take a great deal of detective work to learn that isn't true.



The Oort cloud /ˈɔrt/,[1] or the Öpik–Oort cloud[2] (named after Jan Oort), is a hypothesized spherical cloud of predominantly icy objects that may extend up to roughly 50,000 AU, or nearly a light-year, from the Sun.




Although no confirmed direct observations of the Oort cloud have been made, astronomers believe that it is the source of all long-period and Halley-type[citation needed] comets entering the inner Solar System and many of the centaurs and Jupiter-family comets as well


Wikipedia

To me, to say a comet comes from someplace where there is absolutely no proof is not science. In fact, it seems to me to be the exact opposite. When science states something as a fact and has no proof, science becomes more like religion. Why does science do this?




posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 11:30 AM
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Many theories that are facts now started off that way. Black holes were no different... postulated for years but never observed.

It takes a while, maybe they find the Oort cloud or they find something different to replace that model.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 11:39 AM
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Science itself is not saying that the Oort cloud is a fact. Science says:


it is a hypothesized spherical cloud of predominantly icy objects that may extend up to roughly 50,000 AU, or nearly a light-year, from the Sun.


From Your Source

News web sites, magazine web sites, etc, on the other hand may write article that would make one think that it is a fact, as you say.

That falls under the responsibility of the place that is creating the article, or the person(s) that are writing the article.

There is evidence in the orbit of periodic comets that it exists, but as you pointed out, it's not conclusive, nor does it make it a fact.

This is like the Kuiper Belt. We know today that it exists, and have known that it does since 1992 when first direct evidence of it's existence was shown.

Prior to that date, the Kuiper Belt was also only a theory. However, I'm sure that if you look back at articles published prior to 1992, you'll find that they too had a tendency to refer to the Kuiper Belt as a fact, instead of a theory.

So again: Science itself does not declare the Oort Cloud as a fact. It says that it's a theory. People writing articles on the other hand may indicate otherwise. But they are not "science".



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by 1questioner
To me, to say a comet comes from someplace where there is absolutely no proof is not science.

To say something is hypothesized or a theory is not the same as saying something has "absolutely no proof." We know the long period comets have aphelion distances at Oort cloud distances. It stands to reason that there is a population of such objects that have similar aphelion distances but also more circular orbits (perihelion distances that do not bring them into the inner solar system). Your own link mentions four possible Oort cloud objects: 90377 Sedna, 2000 CR105, 2006 SQ372 and 2008 KV42.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 12:20 PM
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I agree with all the comments posted so far and I thank all of you for your input. But I'm still confused as to how we can look tens or even hundreds of light years away from our planet and find other planets orbiting a star and still not see something like the "Oort Cloud" around our own solar system. Does anyone know?



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by 1questioner
I agree with all the comments posted so far and I thank all of you for your input. But I'm still confused as to how we can look tens or even hundreds of light years away from our planet and find other planets orbiting a star and still not see something like the "Oort Cloud" around our own solar system. Does anyone know?


Yes. It comes down to size.

The objects in what is suppose to make up the Oort cloud are small. Their size in arcseconds is minute compared to say a gas giant like Jupiter.
Then there is the size of the distance we are talking about. 50,000 AUs and up to 1 light year, which is over 56 Trillion miles in distance away from us.
Then last, there is the size of the area that they encompass all around our solar system like a shell. With a radius of up to 1 lightyear, that's a surface area of over 50 light years......and in reality the cloud has depth too.

While we think it is densely populated, the figures or pictures that they show can be a bit misleading. Just like the images that they make to represent the asteroid belt.
If the asteroid belt was as thickly populated as a lot of artist renderings are done to represent it, we'd see this huge, bright arch in our night sky! Just like the rings of Saturn can be seen.

However, as we know, the asteroids in the asteroid belt are not that close together, or populated by as many asteroids as an artist would have you believe.

This holds true for the theory of the Oort cloud. There are a lot of objects in it, yes, but they are quite small, and spaced very, very far apart.

Several of the objects that NGChunter listed that we think are part of this Oort cloud are small, and have orbits that have taken a long time to track and calculate. It's possible that on many astophotography plates taken to find comets, asteroids or yes even Planet X, may have Oort cloud objects in them (they'd be very, very, VERY faint), but because they are so far away, and have such long period orbits, movement in them may not be noticed right away or very easily.

A good analogy of this would be to go out and by some BBs used in a BB gun. Take them about 1 mile away from where you live and spread them out on the ground. Now go back to your house, and use a telescope to try and see them.....but you're going to need a very, very, very powerful telescope that can resolve an object that small to see the

Edit: Almost forgot: another factor that makes these objects so hard to find is because of how far they are from the sun, they hardly reflect any light at all. When we get to Pluto's orbit, our sun looks like a bright star in the sky. The Oort cloud is much further than Pluto, so the amount of sun light is even smaller. Go out on a dark night with clear skies, but no moon or any artificial light sources and try to look at your hand being illuminated by the stars, even very bright stars like Sirius. Small object, very faint light makes for seeing something very hard.
edit on 25-1-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-1-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 12:53 PM
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I would say it exists. All those long-period comets must come from somewhere. As mentioned above, there are already 4 Oort cloud candidates. One does not so much "see" the Oort cloud, or Kuiper belt, or the asteroid belt, as identify objects that exist there, based on their orbit.

The way we find exoplanets is very different: we look at their star and how its brightness and its "wobble" change as those planets orbit it. With the Oort cloud, we can only try to see those objects directly. Being so small and so far away from the Sun, it's extremely difficult.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by eriktheawful
Edit: Almost forgot: another factor that makes these objects so hard to find is because of how far they are from the sun, they hardly reflect any light at all. When we get to Pluto's orbit, our sun looks like a bright star in the sky. The Oort cloud is much further than Pluto, so the amount of sun light is even smaller.

Bingo. That right there is the primary problem. These objects generally make Pluto look extremely close and bright by comparison. They're way out there, and there is precious little light for them to reflect.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 01:26 PM
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theres plently of circiamstical evedence for the ortia cloud as comits have to come from someware and light years being out of the question as many come every 50 to 100 years .
Im more insterid in if theres a dark body out past pluto large enough to effect the comits orbits thus the new ones we get from time to time.
But i have concluded if there is a dark bodyit CAN NOT BE a PLANET or any kind of star as planets and stars CAN NOT EVER BE totaly dark radio emmisions are formed in stars and planets thus giving the large ones close to us awaty even if WE CANT see them.
So if there is a dark body it must be only one thing A BLACKHOLE . we know theres something big making one heck of a dent in our solar systems gravity profile but have no way to prove it .
Ps if it is there its been there from the start and of no real danger to earth or any planet we have so forget end of teh world stuff .



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


Do you think an infrared space telescope could pick those objects out? I imagine it would have to be a very advanced telescope with a very cold sensor.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 


Thank you for your thoughtful reply. A star for you.

Although what you say makes sense, the more research I do on comets, the more questions I have. From some of the preliminary research I've done, not only is the Oort Cloud a mystery, astrophysicists don't seem know what a comet is made of or even what a comet's tail is.





Personally, I find the fact that we really know next to nothing about comets to be truly amazing!



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by 1questioner
 


Okay, keep in mind a couple of things:

1) In the first video, the person talking seems to think (or at least acts like) all scientist work for NASA. That NASA pretty much is the final authority on space and our universe, and that everyone seems to only pay attention to NASA scientist.

I would hope that you realize all that is wrong. There are plenty of scientist out there that have absolutely nothing to do with NASA at all. Some are not employed but do use data that is collected by NASA.
NASA is a government organization of the USA. There are other space agencies out there, and many, many, many colleges and universities where scientists work and do their research from. About the only final "authority" that we have is the IAU, the International Astronomical Union founded back in 1919 and their primary purpose to to help facilitate astronomy on an international scale. This includes helping define what is what up in the sky (IE what defines a comet, what defines a planet, what defines a dwarf planet, etc, etc), and what their "official" names are (Jupiter, Saturn, Sirius, etc).

They are not owned or run by NASA.

Okay, with that in mind, yes, when Deep Impact was executed, the results were very surprising. Many scientist out there will tell you that the more we learn, the more questions we have pop up.

Now, as you said, you find it surprising that many things we thought we knew about comets are turning out to be wrong.
This in itself should not be that big of a surprise. What comets were made of, and how their structures are had been always theorized. Not an absolute fact.

What was theorized was done so based upon:
Observation and behavior of the comet.

However, we have never had a comet captured and brought down to Earth for physical study. So while we had what we thought were pretty good theories based up on how a comet acts and looks like, Deep Impact showed us that those theories were wrong.

Make sure you go to the wikipedia and read up on comets, especially the history of observation and structure. You'll find a lot of interesting information, and how even today it's still debated how much water is in a comet.

The reason I say this is, you'll see that even into modern times, when talking about what a comet was made of, the word "model" is used (and is still used today). This is because exactly how they are made up are still based on theories.

Edit: oh,and Dr. Paul Francis is right: we don't know everything there is to know about astronomy. We do know a lot.....but "a lot" is actually very tiny compared to the vastness of our universe out there.
edit on 25-1-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-1-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 


Another star for you. Thanks.

The bottom line of what you're saying and to the heart of this thread: We don't know where comets come from or what they're made of.

Incredible!



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by 1questioner
reply to post by eriktheawful
 


Another star for you. Thanks.

The bottom line of what you're saying and to the heart of this thread: We don't know where comets come from or what they're made of.

Incredible!


Actually I would put it this way:

We know they come from the outer parts of our solar system and beyond......as to whether there is a "cloud" of them (the Oort" cloud), remains to be still proven and is just theory.
And: we know that comets contain many things......we're just not as sure how they are structured, or if it's possible for things we can't see to be in them too.

But again, you should not be that surprised. We're still discovering things about our own planet that we walk around on.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by wildespace
reply to post by ngchunter
 


Do you think an infrared space telescope could pick those objects out? I imagine it would have to be a very advanced telescope with a very cold sensor.

WISE would have picked up a massive planet or brown dwarf at Oort cloud distances, certainly. You need more light gathering power to detect smaller and smaller objects even if they're at the same temperature as such a planet. The colder they are, the longer the wavelength of light that they'll emit.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by 1questioner

To me, to say a comet comes from someplace where there is absolutely no proof is not science. In fact, it seems to me to be the exact opposite. When science states something as a fact and has no proof, science becomes more like religion. Why does science do this?


You are not the only 1 sometimes confused by how science can be this way..

good observation


NAMASTE*******
edit on 1/25/13 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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Can WISE Find the Hypothetical 'Tyche' Planet at Edge of Our Solar System?


Feb. 21, 2011 — In November 2010, the scientific journal Icarus published a paper by astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, who proposed the existence of a binary companion to our sun, larger than Jupiter, in the long-hypothesized "Oort cloud" -- a faraway repository of small icy bodies at the edge of our solar system. The researchers use the name "Tyche" for the hypothetical planet. Their paper argues that evidence for the planet would have been recorded by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).




www.sciencedaily.com...






NASA's Infrared Eye Yields "Nemesis" Objects -The Coldest Known Stars in the Universe



Brown_dwarf_disk Astronomers have uncovered what appear to be 14 of the coldest stars known in our universe. These failed stars, called brown dwarfs, are so cold and faint that they'd be impossible to see with current visible-light telescopes. Spitzer's infrared vision was able to pick out their faint glow. The new objects are between the temperatures of about 450 Kelvin to 600 Kelvin (350 to 620 degrees Fahrenheit). As far as stars go, that's COLD.




Brown dwarfs form like stars out of collapsing balls of gas and dust, but they are puny in comparison, never collecting enough mass to ignite nuclear fusion and shine with starlight. The smallest known brown dwarfs are about 5 to 10 times the mass of our planet Jupiter -- that's as massive as some known gas-giant planets around other stars. Brown dwarfs start out with a bit of internal heat left over from their formation, but with age, they cool down. The first confirmed brown dwarf was announced in 1995.

"Brown dwarfs are like planets in some ways, but they are in isolation," said astronomer Daniel Stern, co-author of the Spitzer paper at JPL. "This makes them exciting for astronomers -- they are the perfect laboratories to study bodies with planetary masses."


These brown dwarfs have remained elusive for years, but NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, which is up scanning the entire sky now in infrared wavelengths, is expected to find hundreds of similar objects. WISE is searching a volume of space 40 times larger than that sampled in the recent Spitzer study, which concentrated on a region in the constellation Boötes. The Spitzer mission is designed to look at targeted patches of sky in detail, while WISE is combing the whole sky.

"WISE is looking everywhere, so the coolest brown dwarfs are going to pop up all around us," said Peter Eisenhardt, the WISE project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and lead author of a recent paper in the Astronomical Journal on the Spitzer discoveries. "We might even find a cool brown dwarf that is closer to us than Proxima Centauri, the closest known star."

Most of the new brown dwarfs found by Spitzer are thought to belong to the coolest known class of brown dwarfs, called T dwarfs, which are defined as being less than about 1,500 Kelvin (2,240 degrees Fahrenheit). One of the objects appears to be so cold that it may even be a long-sought Y dwarf -- a proposed class of even colder stars. The T and Y classes are part of a larger system categorizing all stars; for example, the hottest, most massive stars are O stars; our sun is a G star.

"Models indicate there may be an entirely new class of stars out there, the Y dwarfs, that we haven't found yet," said co-author Davy Kirkpatrick, a co-author of the study and a member of the WISE science team at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. "If these elusive objects do exist, WISE will find them." Kirkpatrick is a world expert in brown dwarfs -- he came up with L, T and Y classifications for the cooler stars.

Kirkpatrick says that it's possible that WISE could find an icy, Neptune-sized or bigger object in the far reaches of our solar system -- thousands of times farther from the sun than Earth. There is some speculation amongst scientists that such a cool body, if it exists, could be a brown dwarf companion to our sun. This hypothetical object has been nicknamed "Nemesis."


"We are now calling the hypothetical brown dwarf Tyche instead, after the benevolent counterpart to Nemesis," said Kirkpatrick. "Although there is only limited evidence to suggest a large body in a wide, stable orbit around the sun, WISE should be able to find it, or rule it out altogether."



www.dailygalaxy.com...

When combined with reads of Tyche/Nemesis it get the Conspiracy Theorist mind thinking of Celestial objects (being taken a break from being mentioned)
that may exist, due to all this hypothetical data.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by Ophiuchus 13

Originally posted by 1questioner

To me, to say a comet comes from someplace where there is absolutely no proof is not science. In fact, it seems to me to be the exact opposite. When science states something as a fact and has no proof, science becomes more like religion. Why does science do this?


You are not the only 1 sometimes confused by how science can be this way..

good observation


NAMASTE*******
edit on 1/25/13 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)


Except you missed in the thread where I pointed out that science does NOT say that.

A news article does.

News article, blogs, etc, have a bad habit of putting something forth that is for now actually a theory, and not a fact, as though it is a fact.



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 03:35 PM
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Accepted
but still ELENIN makes 1 think is anything being pushed out in the hypothetical OORTas hypothetically shared in these non scientific influenced datas.... and as the OP mentioned are scientist actual scientist denouncing the OORT clouds existence as well





Can WISE Find the Hypothetical 'Tyche'?02.18.11 Mosaic of the Lagoon nebula This colorful picture is a mosaic of the Lagoon nebula taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
› Full image and caption Background

In November 2010, the scientific journal Icarus published a paper by astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire, who proposed the existence of a binary companion to our sun, larger than Jupiter, in the long-hypothesized "Oort cloud" -- a faraway repository of small icy bodies at the edge of our solar system. The researchers use the name "Tyche" for the hypothetical planet. Their paper argues that evidence for the planet would have been recorded by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

WISE is a NASA mission, launched in December 2009, which scanned the entire celestial sky at four infrared wavelengths about 1.5 times. It captured more than 2.7 million images of objects in space, ranging from faraway galaxies to asteroids and comets relatively close to Earth. Recently, WISE completed an extended mission, allowing it to finish a complete scan of the asteroid belt, and two complete scans of the more distant universe, in two infrared bands. So far, the mission's discoveries of previously unknown objects include an ultra-cold star or brown dwarf, 20 comets, 134 near-Earth objects (NEOs), and more than 33,000 asteroids in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Following its successful survey, WISE was put into hibernation in February 2011. Analysis of WISE data continues. A preliminary public release of the first 14 weeks of data is planned for April 2011, and the final release of the full survey is planned for March 2012.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When could data from WISE confirm or rule out the existence of the hypothesized planet Tyche?

A: It is too early to know whether WISE data confirms or rules out a large object in the Oort cloud. Analysis over the next couple of years will be needed to determine if WISE has actually detected such a world or not. The first 14 weeks of data, being released in April 2011, are unlikely to be sufficient. The full survey, scheduled for release in March 2012, should provide greater insight. Once the WISE data are fully processed, released and analyzed, the Tyche hypothesis that Matese and Whitmire propose will be tested.

Q: Is it a certainty that WISE would have observed such a planet if it exists?

A: It is likely but not a foregone conclusion that WISE could confirm whether or not Tyche exists. Since WISE surveyed the whole sky once, then covered the entire sky again in two of its infrared bands six months later, WISE would see a change in the apparent position of a large planet body in the Oort cloud over the six-month period. The two bands used in the second sky coverage were designed to identify very small, cold stars (or brown dwarfs) -- which are much like planets larger than Jupiter, as Tyche is hypothesized to be.



www.nasa.gov...
edit on 1/25/13 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2013 @ 03:50 PM
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Originally posted by Ophiuchus 13
Accepted
but still ELENIN makes 1 think is anything being pushed out in the hypothetical OORTas hypothetically shared in these non scientific influenced datas.... and as the OP mentioned are scientist actual scientist denouncing the OORT clouds existence as well




www.nasa.gov...
edit on 1/25/13 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)


The best way for you, or anyone else out there to find out what scientist are thinking, or what they think they have discovered/observed, etc, is to do the following:

1) Avoid using news sources as anything other than a tip. When I say a tip, a tip that you might want to research in to something that the news source is talking about.

this is mainly because of how way too often, news sources end up misquoting or taking out of context something that a scientist says or publishes.

2) Actually go look up and READ what the scientist said. The best place for this is not the news or a magazine/blog, etc. The best place for this is the journals that a scientist publishes in. They publish to get credit for something they've found and so that what they've found can be peer reviewed. Here are just a few links to Astronomy Journals:

AAS Journals

IOP Science

and to help you and others out further, here is a whole list of them:

Wiki list of Astronomy Journals

3) Email the scientist in question. You'd be surprised at how many will take the time to write back and answer your questions or explain something that they have said or published.

4) One of the best here: get a job as a intern working for the scientist!


Of course that last one won't pay the bills, but still, it would be cool in my opinion.





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