Our Thieving Sun

posted in: science, space | 0

According to NASA Science News, the sun has been stealing comets from other stars. Or rather, it did in its scofflaw youth, when it was part of a disintegrating star-forming nebula. This assertion is based on computer modeling of the Oort Cloud, the enormous cloud of comets that encircles the solar system at a distance of about a light-year. Mind you, the evidence of theft is based on measurements of a cloud that has never directly been observed, though there’s plenty of evidence for its existence. Apparently the cloud (which has never been seen directly) has way more comets than can be accounted for by honest procurement. And so, the evidence for the misappropriation.

Therefore, it’s possible that this weird-looking Comet Hartley 2, photographed last week by NASA’s robotic EPOXI spacecraft (no, it’s not made of glue), is actually not from our own system originally, but rather from an alien sun. Is that cool or what?

Post your comment before you lose your train of thought. (Mine already left the station.)