Scientists, telescope hunt massive hidden object in space
Some scientists think a brown dwarf or gas giant bigger than Jupiter could be at the outer reaches of the solar system. In this image showing relative size, the white object at the upper left edge represents the sun.
February 15th, 2011
09:03 AM ET

Scientists, telescope hunt massive hidden object in space

You know how you sometimes can sense that something is present even though you can't see it? Well, astronomers are getting that feeling about a giant, hidden object in space.

And when we say giant, we mean GIANT.

Evidence is mounting that either a brown dwarf star or a gas giant planet is lurking at the outermost reaches of our solar system, far beyond Pluto. The theoretical object, dubbed Tyche, is estimated to be four times the size of Jupiter and 15,000 times farther from the sun than Earth, according to a story in the British paper The Independent.

Astrophysicists John Matese and Daniel Whitmire from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette think data from NASA's infrared space telescope WISE will confirm Tyche's existence and location within two years.

The presence of such a massive object in the solar system's far-flung Oort Cloud could explain a barrage of comets from an unexpected direction, according to a December article at Space.com.

Its 27 million-year orbit could also explain a pattern of mass extinctions on Earth, scientists say.

Brown dwarfs are cold "failed" stars; their dimness and lack of heat radiation can make them hard to detect. Gas giants are huge planets - like Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune - that are made up of gases and may lack a solid surface like Earth's.

Whitmire told The Independent that Tyche will probably be composed of hydrogen and helium and have colorful spots, bands and clouds like Jupiter.

"You'd also expect it to have moons," he said. "All the outer planets have them."

Tyche was first hypothesized in 1984 as Nemesis, a dark companion star to the sun. It's been the subject of astronomical research and debate ever since. In July, another Space.com article said the celestial evidence suggests Tyche could not possibly exist.

To distinguish it from the Nemesis star theory, Matese and Whitmire are calling their object Tyche, after the good sister of the goddess Nemesis in Greek mythology.

Their research is published in Icarus, the International Journal of Solar System Studies.

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Filed under: Science • Space
soundoff (1,170 Responses)
  1. Blue Sylph

    N i b i r u !! :DDDD

    August 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    why after the august 17th post it goes to february 15th aagain, something fishy going on with this site and many others that talk about planet x. Many images appear to be removed, what are they ( governments) trying to hide? and why? Why hasnt there been anything in the news about ELENIN, even if it wasnt going to be a disaster its still very interesting, so why soooo little press? something is up dudes, wake up.

    August 18, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bryan McGuire

    Okay,
    Let's say this is what killed the dinosaurs. That happened 65 million years ago. 27 million years after that, or 38 million years ago, it came by again, and then it came again 11 million years ago. So, this thing is due to be here in another 16 million years. The oldest known fossil of man is a mere 200,000 years old. I don't think I'll lose much sleep over this one.

    August 21, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. kool

    nibiru 🙂

    August 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sam

    Hello hello Nemesis well I can't hear a thing
    I have got no service on this planet see, see
    Wha-wha-wha did you say you're breakin' up on me
    Sorry there's a Kuiper belt I'm kinda busy

    Kinda busy
    Kinda busy
    Sorry, there's a Kuiper belt I'm kinda busy

    Stop stalking stop stalking there's a solar system at large
    I left my Oort cloud and magnetic field in charge
    Stop stakling stop stalking there's a solar system at large
    I left my Oort cloud and magnetic field in charge

    Call all you want, but there's no one home
    And you're not gonna reach my Seti-at-home
    'Cause I'm out in space and I'm nebula-faced
    And you're not gonna reach my Seti-at-home

    August 31, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Shawn Cornell

    I love how these hollow theories fly around in the media. And It's no shocker this suddenly became a story designed to exploit the fears of the non-enthusiast ignorant worker too busy to care about the twinkling mess of the cosmos but paranoid enough to figure out the Aztec Apocalypse. Way to go journalists.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • HIRTO ACOSTA

      LA VERDAD LLEVO AÑOS HACIENDO ESTUDIOS COMPROBADOS, DE LA EXISTENCIA DE UNA PROTO-ESTRELLA, O ENANA MARRON, Y ES UNA VERDAD CONFIRMADA HASTA POR LA MISMA BIBLIA, DE HECHO LOS BUNKER QUE TIENEN LISTO ES JUSTO PARA LA LLEGADA DE ESTE MONSTRUO QUE DARA MUERTE A 3/4 PARTE DE POBLACION, ESTA VERDAD NO SOLO PERTENECE A MIS INVESTIGACIONES SI NO, A LOS 32.000 CIENTIFICOS QUE HAN CONFIRMADO LA LLAGADA DE ESTE OBJETO. DESDE BOD DEAN, A.T., EL POLITICO NORUEGO QUE SE ATRECIO HABLAR, LOS 5000 BUNKER EN RUSIA QUE MANDARON HACER ESTE AÑOS Y MAS DATOS QUE TE SORPRENDERIA SI TE LOS MUESTRO. HE LLEVADO ESTA INFORMACION A VARIAS PARTE DE MI PAIS Y NO HE TENIDO NADIE QUE ME PUEDA REFUTAR LO CONTRARIO DE ESTE PORTENTO QUE POSEO YA QUE TIENE FUNDAMENTO Y CONPROBACIONES QUE NO DEJAN VACIOS MENTALES.LA FALTA DE ESTUDIO PROFUNDO ES LO QUE PUEDE HACER LA DIFERENCIA ENTRE UNA MALA RESPUESTA Y LA IGNORACIA QUE CABANGA DE FORMA GALOPANTE

      March 31, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. The Last Laugh

    Why is it so hard to beleive something that has happened several times before may possibly happen during our lifetime ? Extinctions are no myth, evidence exists of something having occured here on this globe. So what was it that happened ? Nevermind other evidence suggesting there is an object out there someplace they cannot quite find for years, based all on the math, and how they figure the planets are supposed to work with each other and mass and all manner of other crazy mathamatics and science, is it really that hard to beleive this object could be there... just because it could be there does not mean you have to go all 2012 doomsday crazy over it, just means there is a HUGE object out there and yea, things could change, but are things not changing all the time anyways ?

    September 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jeff

    stupid is as stupid does right? blind leading the what? look things up school yourself what else do you have to do? you got this far right? lol

    September 22, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Chip

    Hmmmm if it is that bigg . . . .then I would agree that we should be able to see it, but then what about the space men that are here . . . . or the earth Space travlers who have been to different places in the Universe, let alone our own tiny Galaxy

    Net time you go, I would love to try one of those modern devices . . . called a Transporter, Thats all for to day,

    Beam me up Scotty

    Chip

    September 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. raytheon

    why so much hating in this thread? the aliens exist and they love us. its going to be okay guys. one.

    October 6, 2011 at 5:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Fabricio

    ¿Que rayos es esto? y como antes no se hablo de este ¿ planeta ? ,¿ como esta conformado? ,si es asi .¿ tiene satelites o lunas ?, viene con sigo con ¿asteroides en su orbita?.¿ Que riesgo tiene nuestro planeta , y nosotros?

    November 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. a guy

    what is wrong with you guys..LOL? I highly doubt this giant weird planet or dwarf star also i just think its how space rolls asteroids being sent to earth cause of this..? No heck no

    January 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. a guy

    i believe its caused by gravity...mabey their is a giant asteroid doing this shizzle fudizzle muhizzle

    January 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
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