Astronomers searching the WISE infrared data archive think they might find a Jupiter-sized planet lurking near the Oort Cloud.

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Astronomers searching the WISE infrared data archive think they might find a Jupiter-sized planet lurking near the Oort Cloud.



  • I’m curious as to why the researchers think the object has a circular orbit, as no other Solar System object does. Perhaps they mean that the orbital eccentricity is close to 0, but even that would be remarkable.

    It seems that WISE is becoming more cost-effective by the month.

  • Most of the planets in our solar system have eccentricities close to 0, especially when you compare their orbits with almost all the other exoplanets so far discovered. I suspect the astronomers are merely assuming that this planet will have an orbit similar to the rest of the solar system.

  • Chris Kirkendall

    I also assumed they meant an elliptical orbit that is close to being circular. It does seem a little odd that something orbiting that far out, possibly captured from another system & inclined 45* to the ecliptic, would have a nearly circular orbit – it seems to me more likely such an object would have a fairly eccentric elliptical orbit. But they must believe that based on data they have.

    One of the coolest things about science is that it’s always evolving – we never reach a point where we think all the discoveries have been made, that we now “know all there is to know” – we will NEVER reach that point, and it keep things exciting & interesting. There will always be new discoveries & even alterations or complete revisions of theories that explain the way things work…

  • Ecclesiastes 1:9

    “The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

  • Chris Kirkendall

    This is true – I guess I should qualify what I said because of course God (and ONLY God…) already knows all the answers but mankind is still searching & we will never know the mind of God, nor have his knowledge & wisdom – at least, not while we’re still “down here” in our present state…

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