A first-of-its-kind space rock filled with pristine material from the formation of the Earth itself has returned to the inner solar system, after billions of years in the cosmic boondocks. And it could help us piece together our planet’s origin story.
A pair of new studies claim to have discovered two of the most distant objects ever seen in the outer reaches of the Solar System, including a “Super Earth” located six times further away than Pluto. It’s an extraordinary claim — and it’s also highly unlikely.
An international team of astronomers has identified a star that passed through the outer reaches of the Oort Cloud some 70,000 years ago. It came within a distance of 0.8 light-years, making it the closest known flyby of a star to the Solar System.
A stellar orange dwarf has a 90% chance of passing through the outer reaches of our solar system no earlier than a quarter of a million years from now. Sure, that's a long way off, but this unwelcome guest could perturb the Oort cloud, flinging dangerous comets towards Earth.
Pluto is about forty times the distance from the Sun as Earth. But the Solar System is over 50000 times that length across, meaning it could be hiding some huge secrets. That's now looking like a small but real possibility.
We might just be on the verge of discovering a real Planet X, according to astronomers John Matese and Dan Whitmire. Subtle gravitational influences on comets way out in the Oort Cloud suggest there could be a huge gas giant affecting the other objects, and now NASA's Wise space telescope has given us the data to…
Far away in the frozen outermost depths of our solar system, there might be a hidden planet four times the size of Jupiter. This secret companion to the Sun could be responsible for sending comets into the inner solar system.
At the furthest edges of our solar system lies the vast Oort Cloud, a hypothetical giant shell full of billions of frozen comets. Formed 4.5 billion years ago, the cloud is a frozen museum of the chemistries of neighboring stars.
If you're wondering about the sunny view from the Oort Cloud, that vast sphere of debris that surrounds our solar system, here it is. As we told you yesterday, scientists now believe this remote, cold region might house another Earth-like planet. Only it would be frozen. Want to travel a little closer to the sun, and…
Traveling to another Earth-like world just got a lot easier. It turns out that there may be many other dirt-and-water planets lurking at the edges of our solar system in places like the Oort Cloud. These planets, which could be roughly the size of our own, would contain all the elements we need for life. They're just…