Saturday, June 15, 2013

Alien Planet or Alien Star?

io9 has a new article This alien world shouldn't even exist.

A team of scientists using the Hubble found what they may think is a forming planet in the planetary nebula of the new star labelled TW Hydrae. The results are published. The only problem is that this alleged planet contradicts the standard planet forming models generally called nebular hypothesis. So the scientists are scratching their heads, yet again:

“There has not been enough time for a planet to grow through the slow accumulation of smaller debris. Complicating the story further is that TW Hydrae is only 55 percent as massive as our sun,” NASA stated, adding it’s the first time we’ve seen a gap so far away from a low-mass star.
"Typically, you need pebbles before you can have a planet. So, if there is a planet and there is no dust larger than a grain of sand farther out, that would be a huge challenge to traditional planet formation models,” stated John Debes, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

In short, conventional nebular hypothesis cannot explain the presence of this alleged planet. The reason is this hypothesis (fundamental assumption) is radically flawed. This is why the scientists are confused. One of two things could now happen. Some will push an alternate hypothesis, an ad hoc variable, which falls under the broader category of nebular hypothesis. Or some other team will attempt to disprove the alleged planet's existence. But eventually the James Webb Space Telescope will get launched and resolve the issue.

A couple commentators on io9 come very close to what I think is the correct explanation. This planet is a 'drifting exoplanet'. They are on the right track. This is the reasonable explanation. Only they do not yet conceive that this rogue exoplanet is really a very old star, perhaps a black dwarf.

If indeed there is a planet there, I assume this planet is a very old star. It happened to be in the vicinity. It got pulled in and accreted some of the left over gas and dust in the 'planetary nebula' of the new TW Hydrae star. This is perhaps how some old stars accumulate certain elements and molecules in their cycle.

The vast majority of planets are really old stars. This is easy to understand once the Big Bang myth and all its claims such as a 13.8 billion year old universe get tossed into a black hole. Then all that needs to be explained is how a star transitions from main sequence to a black dwarf and so on. The stellar evolution models and nucleosynthesis models also need some radical revision.  Way too much emphasis is placed on supernovae for nucleosynthesis.  I think a stellar cycle forms many elements without having to completely explode.  Think of the elements to the right of the periodic table.  These have many protons and neutrons crunched into a small volume marked by the small radius of the electron valence shell.  It makes more sense that these elements form in the compression of a stellar cycle than in an explosion.

I think galaxies have many old stars we call planets/exoplanets.  These have homegrown elements and molecules.  They naturally transition out of their main sequence without completely exploding.  Instead they shed some of their outer layers in a series of novae.  These cool and contract as they migrate through a galaxy and take residence around newer stars.  As they migrate or take residence around new stars they can potentially assume other elements and molecules as in the possible example of this planet pulled into TW Hydrae's.  TW Hydrae has a lot of H2O vapor in its disk so perhaps this alleged planet is assembling the H2O and will become a water world.

There is no such thing as scientific doctrines and dogmas.  There are other reasonable explanations out there other than the standard models.  

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