Thursday, February 17, 2011
Pouring cold water on this whole giant planet in our neck of the woods thang.
So Tuesday, I was like all excited about this idea that there was a massive planet relatively close to us called Tyche. When I say "relatively", I mean that it's relatively close by astronomical standards, which means about a quarter of a light year away.
Even big objects like the Sun and Tyche have next to no gravitational pull at those kinds of distances, so there's no way Tyche is "orbiting" the Sun or vice versa. It would take the fastest spaceship we can build many decades to get there and the journey would definitely be risky.
My more science-y pal Ken Rose sent me a link that says it's pretty damned unlikely Tyche is actually hanging out in the Oort Cloud. Even the Oort Cloud itself is just a "probably exists" kind of thing.
Boy am I bummed.
From what I can tell, there are some astrophysicists who like the idea of giant planets as much as Matty Boy likes the idea of giant women.
Which means they like the idea A LOT!!!!!
I feel for these guys in some odd kinship, and I understand how they could sell some folks in the media on the idea of some exciting unexpected magical thing, kind of like an astronomical version of Bigfoot or the chupcabra.
p.s. If anyone knows this girl's cell phone number, do a brother a favor and hook us up.