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Oort Cloud Problem

14 December 2022

Defying the origins of the solar system. Not my words, this is the headline at https://phys.org/news/2022-12-unexpected-space-defies-theories-solar.html … an unexpected space traveller defies theories about the make-up and origin of the solar system – but not really. The traveller is a space rock, described as a fireball, that is known to have travelled from the edge of our solar system. The problem is that it was made of rock. Hence, the challenge is to the idea that comets and space rocks are dirty snowballs. This includes the bits and pieces, or meteors, that develop a life of their own. Space research in the modern era has discovered many instances of space objects, asteroids and comets, that are quite clearly rocky rather than dirty snowballs. What is surprising is that mainstream have continued to stick to their preferred scenario, comets are dirty snowballs, a conglomerate of dust, gas and ice. They are thought to sublimate due to the heat of the  sun as they approach the inner solar system. This in spite of that big centaur object that is shedding lots of material whilst it is still in the further reaches of the solar system. This latest piece of evidence, backed up by telescopes and the chondritic material the fireball left behind, appears to fit what has actually been observed in some NASA and ESA missions, space rocks are actually space rocks, although there may also be conglomerate compositions also. What is the difference between an asteroid and a comet? They appear to be getting closer by the hour, as asteroids with tails have been observed on some notable occasions.  Will this latest discovery be the catalyst of a change in theory regarding comets and meteors?

The theory of course is closely associated with the Oort Cloud. This is a region in the far reaches of the solar system where it is thought to be extremely cold. It is said to be the birthing region or residence of lots of comets. As such, they have to be frozen – and why not frozen snowballs as they seem to disintegrate when approaching the vicinity of the sun. What exactly is going on in the sun to cause comets and meteors and space rocks to disintegrate into ever diminishing pieces? That is what will cause the change of paradym.

Nowadays we know the sun is more peculiar than just a giant ball of heat that fries everything in its vicinity. It shoots out long streams of plasma, known as the solar wind. As such, it can influence objects much further out in the solar system than just its heat alone. The solar system is full of plasma, even comets have a plasma tail, or coma. Plasma is basically, electrified gas. Hence, the sun has electro-magnetic properties that science has not got a full handle on. Is the idea that the edge of the solar system is very cold an old idea long past its sell by date?

The observation involves a fireball seen over Alberta but it had been tracked by scientists back to the outer solar system, or the Oort Cloud region. Yet, when its remains were examined they were rocky. This was not a fluffy snowball.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-12-ryugu-asteroid-samples-solar-history.html … which is along similar lines, but refers to research on samples brought back from the Japanese mission to asteroid Ryugu, two years ago. Isotope analysis shows Ryugu’s composition is similar to carbonaceous chodrite space rocks [which include some comets and their meteorites]. These are said to be materials with an origin with the edge of the solar system.

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