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#1 2017-04-19 08:08:27

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

http://www.newsweek.com/planet-nine-nasa-neptune-585965

One such finding is our discovery of a minor planet in the outer solar system: 2013 SY99. This small, icy world has an orbit so distant that it takes 20,000 years for one long, looping passage. We found SY99 with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope as part of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey. SY99’s great distance means it travels very slowly across the sky. Our measurements of its motion show that its orbit is a very stretched ellipse, with the closest approach to the sun at 50 times that between the Earth and the sun (a distance of 50 “astronomical units”).

The new minor planet loops even further out than previously discovered dwarf planets such as Sedna and 2013 VP113. The long axis of its orbital ellipse is 730 astronomical units. Our observations with other telescopes show that SY99 is a small, reddish world, some 250 kilometres in diameter, or about the size of Wales in the UK.


This entry gives more detail:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_SY99

According to astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, the discovery of 2013 SY99 provides additional evidence for the existence of Planet Nine, but Michele Bannister, one of the astronomers who reported the discovery of this object, counters that it travels an orbit that is almost within the plane of the Solar System, rather than being tilted at high angles, as might be expected if it were being shepherded by a Planet Nine.[1][8]

Its existence was announced in 2016, but the observations were kept private until 2017. It was listed at the Minor Planet Center and the JPL SBDB on 6 April 2017[6] with a 3 year observation arc and an epoch 2017 heliocentric orbital period of 17,600 years.[5] But barycentric orbital solutions are more stable for objects on multi-thousand year orbits. The barycentric orbital period is 19,700 years.[2][n 1]

It is estimated to be about 250 km in diameter and moderately red in color.[4] In 2052 it will be roughly 20.3 AU from Neptune. It will come to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) around 2055 when it will be 50 AU from the Sun.[5]

So 2013 SY99 will come closest to the Sun in 2055 at around 50 AU, the question then becomes, can we get there by 2055? That is 38 years from now. We sent a probe to Pluto, which is only a little closer than this object at perihelion. It would be interesting to send a probe to this object, it is helpful that this object is aligned with the plane of the Solar System, that means we could possibly use Jupiter to provide an orbital boost to get there. Be nice if we can send an orbiter or a lander as well. Do you think NASA should start making plans?

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#2 2017-04-19 16:32:38

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 10,375

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

Do not blink as its tiny....
300px-Dwarf_planet_masses_relative_to_Moon.svg.png

New Distant Dwarf Planet Beyond Neptune.

The new object is roughly 700 kilometers in size and has one of the largest orbits for a dwarf planet. Designated 2015 RR245 by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center, it was found using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, as part of the ongoing Outer Solar System Origins Survey

RR245_discovery-loop.gif

A dithering image to view motion via timed frame analysis....

RR245orbit_labeled.png

After hundreds of years further than 12 billion km (80 astronomical units, AU) from the Sun, RR245 is travelling towards its closest approach at 5 billion km (34 AU), which it will reach around 2096. RR245 has been on its highly elliptical orbit for at least the last 100 million years.

These take so long to go just once around are we even sure that they do?

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#3 2017-04-20 09:13:50

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

2013 SY99 goes out the furthest.

2013 SY99 (also known as uo3L91) is a Kuiper belt object (KBO) discovered by the Outer Solar System Origins Survey using the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope in September 2013. This object orbits the Sun between 50 and 1,430 AU (7.5 and 213.9 billion km), and has a barycentric orbital period of nearly 20,000 years.[2][3][1] It has the largest semi-major axes yet detected for an orbit with a perihelion beyond the zone of strong influence of Neptune (q > 38), exceeding the semi-major axes of Sedna, 2012 VP113 and 2010 GB174.[7] 2013 SY99 has the third highest perihelion of any known extreme TransNeptunian Objects, behind that of the only two known sednoids, Sedna (76 AU), and 2012 VP113 (80 AU).

It has a barycentric orbit of 19,700 years, There are certain uses that might be put to this object, that I was thinking of, for one thing, it can be considered a kind of generation starship, its close approach date is 2055, and there is a chance I might still be alive then, I'll be 88 years old if I'm still around, I don't think I can wait till 2096, and SY99 has been way out there, practically in interstellar space! It has a nearly 19,700 orbit period, which means its next scheduled appearance will be in the year 21755 AD or thereabouts. With a diameter of 250 miles, it is obviously a very massive object, I think we do have the technology to send  probe there, and we don't have to wait til 2055 necessarily, and after 2055 it won't be too late to visit it, it moves very slowly. One interesting question is will we be able to send a colony ship thee before it leaves our vicinity. I think we are looking at a travel time to get there of around 10 years with current technology, but getting there at 2055 might be more convenient. We could send a probe in the next few years if we desire and allow for 35 years for the probe to get there when the object reaches perihelion, or we can send a faster probe that can get there sooner, but a slow probe would be easiest to slow into orbit around this object, faster probes would require more fuel. A bit of AI technology would be convenient. Imagine if we could equip this object as a sleeper/colony ship piloted by an AI computer, maybe having multiple AI computers running it. If we launched this thing in 2045, it could be there by 2055 in time for its closest approach. 2045 is 28 years from now, 28 years of further advancement in computer technology, we have the technology to freeze or otherwise store human egg cells, maybe we'll develop artificial womb technology in time for this mission, the AIs would then raise this generation of human children as the mission ends in time o colonize the Earth in the year 21755 AD, the Earth is an Earth like planet, there is a good chance that it will support human life in 21755 AD, whatever global warming problems it has will probably be over by then, the question is will there still be humans on that planet when SY99 returns to the outer Solar System? We don't really know, but if humans have wiped themselves out or evolved into something different, this could mark a new beginning for the human race with settlement on the surface of this future Earth.

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#4 2017-04-20 10:28:59

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 894

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

My curiosity is aroused, just speculating on whether this object is even of our solar system origin? Could this be a captured traveler from another nearby system. Or is this an Oort Cloud object?

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#5 2017-04-20 10:58:19

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

Could be, this object's orbit is extremely elongated, the amount of time it takes for it to complete its orbit around the Sun is comparable to the amount of time it would take for us to send a space ship to Alpha Centauri with today's technology. With today's technology, we can probably send a space probe to Alpha Centauri in 20,000 years, the problem is that we don't know whether Alpha Centauri has any Earthlike planets which could support humans, there is one possible planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, but we still don't know whether it can support human life, but we are standing on one now that does, the chances are good that whatever we do to ourselves in the future, that th Earth will remain a viable candidate for supporting human life, we can send a spaceship to the Earth in 21755 AD, and SY99 could be just the vehicle that could get is there, it would be a one-way "timeship", we just need to cross that gulf of time, that's all. SY99's orbit carry's it out of our Solar System and then brings it back 20,000 years later, it probably has resources that could sustain a human population for quite some time, a fusion reactor may be helpful, otherwise its core may contain fissionable elements that could sustain an atomic fission reactor for the duration of the journey. its trip outside of the Solar System would take it out of human interactions so whatever they do to destroy themselves, SY99 could be safely outside that zone of influence. I am thinking of atomic wars, runaway nanotechnology or adverse AI, I think whatever destroys mankind would also end up destroying itself in 20,000 years and Earth will revert to its pristine condition after a great extinction event, suc as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, nevertheless, we could colonize such a planet. Future Earth might be a good target for human colonization, but we need something that can last 20,000 years and fulfill the mission, something that won' change or evolve during that time period into something we cannot anticipate. The AI's running the show would therefore go into hibernation for 20,000 years, and at their appointed time, they would wake up and raise a new generation of humans, and other plants and animals we may need to sustain such a colony on Earth of this future. Its hard to say what the Earth would look like in 20,000 years, had mankind never evolved, it would be much easier to make a prediction.

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#6 2017-04-20 11:24:14

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

We don't actually need a timer or a clock to wake the AIs up, we can use a photo sensor. As SY99 pulls away from the Sun, we can plant photoreceptors all over its surface, when anyone of them receives a certain intensity from he Sun, when SY99 draws near the Sun again, these AIs would then wake up and do their work.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2017-04-20 11:24:48)

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#7 2017-04-20 15:51:31

Antius
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 901

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

Humanity's future home.  1km beneath the surface, hydrostatic pressure will be ~1bar.  With a nuclear power source,  to melt the ice, the environment at this depth could have comfortable temperature and pressure for human beings.  Habitats built at this depth would need buoyancy control but would be relatively lightweight structures compared to vacuum rated habitats like O'Neill colonies.  Aquaforming limited areas of a body like this is an achievable prospect with abundant nuclear energy.

Whilst it may never be possible to create an open sky Earth analogue environment anywhere in our solar system, aquatic ecosystems like this can be created on any icy body, even those at the frigid edge of the solar system.  Even this single example could support hundreds of millions of people if equipped with thermonuclear energy.

Last edited by Antius (2017-04-20 15:54:28)

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#8 2017-04-20 23:24:04

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

I wonder how deep you could dig on SY99? I suspect a fair amount of it would be frozen gases, go down far enough, you reach some water ice, go even deeper and you reach a rocky core. I suspect SY99 is less dense than Ceres, pressure won't build with depth as steeply as on Ceres. I think one thing you could do is melt a tunnel below the equator on the surface, make it about 10 miles wide, 250 miles in diameter, at this temperature, it would be very easy to have superconductors, the ice in the crust would keep it cold, then you have an underground stanford torus with an artificial light source powered by nuclear fusion. Spincalc tells me that the rotation rate would be 15 minutes to achieve 1-g of centripetal acceleration inside, the velocity would be 3142 miles per hour, about 500 times as fast as a car on the highway, maglev would be required, the gravity and weight of the crust above the tunnel would hold this torus on its tracks, the living space on the inside would be 7,854 square miles, this is almost twice the land area of the big island of Hawaii. Hawaii sustained an ecosystem for millions of years before the first humans arrived on its shores, so I think this ecosystem could be sustained for a mere 20,000 years, as for humans, they would go into suspended animation, or be raised by AI robots towards the end of their journey 20,000 years in the future, the animals couldbe kept alive as part of the food chain in the torus, with some extra stored as frozen ova as backup.

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#9 2017-04-21 07:12:21

Antius
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From: UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 901

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I wonder how deep you could dig on SY99? I suspect a fair amount of it would be frozen gases, go down far enough, you reach some water ice, go even deeper and you reach a rocky core. I suspect SY99 is less dense than Ceres, pressure won't build with depth as steeply as on Ceres. I think one thing you could do is melt a tunnel below the equator on the surface, make it about 10 miles wide, 250 miles in diameter, at this temperature, it would be very easy to have superconductors, the ice in the crust would keep it cold, then you have an underground stanford torus with an artificial light source powered by nuclear fusion. Spincalc tells me that the rotation rate would be 15 minutes to achieve 1-g of centripetal acceleration inside, the velocity would be 3142 miles per hour, about 500 times as fast as a car on the highway, maglev would be required, the gravity and weight of the crust above the tunnel would hold this torus on its tracks, the living space on the inside would be 7,854 square miles, this is almost twice the land area of the big island of Hawaii. Hawaii sustained an ecosystem for millions of years before the first humans arrived on its shores, so I think this ecosystem could be sustained for a mere 20,000 years, as for humans, they would go into suspended animation, or be raised by AI robots towards the end of their journey 20,000 years in the future, the animals couldbe kept alive as part of the food chain in the torus, with some extra stored as frozen ova as backup.

I am not sure about internal structure for a body like SY99.  Pluto has a thick crust composed of frozen nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide.  But my understanding is that even at Pluto temperatures, some atmospheric pressure is required to prevent these gases from subliming.  Pluto is big enough to hold a thin atmosphere at low temperatures, whereas SY99 is too small.  Observations suggest that the larger KBOs have frozen gases on their surfaces, but those beneath 1000km in diameter are generally bereft of them.  But then again, SY99 is further from the sun and colder than any other KBO found to date.  Also, perhaps such volatiles would be more stable if buried under a layer of Tholins.  It is an open question.

The Stanford torus idea would be difficulty, as something so enormous requires huge levels of upfront investment.  Human projects generally do not favour schemes like that if there are smaller, shorter term investments with more rapid breakeven.  It is more likely that a colonised body would contain thousands of smaller habitats, gradually constructed over time as investment becomes available and the need for living space increases with population growth.  Cities on Earth have tended to develop in just such a way.

Last edited by Antius (2017-04-21 07:14:11)

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#10 2017-04-21 07:39:28

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

Antius wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I wonder how deep you could dig on SY99? I suspect a fair amount of it would be frozen gases, go down far enough, you reach some water ice, go even deeper and you reach a rocky core. I suspect SY99 is less dense than Ceres, pressure won't build with depth as steeply as on Ceres. I think one thing you could do is melt a tunnel below the equator on the surface, make it about 10 miles wide, 250 miles in diameter, at this temperature, it would be very easy to have superconductors, the ice in the crust would keep it cold, then you have an underground stanford torus with an artificial light source powered by nuclear fusion. Spincalc tells me that the rotation rate would be 15 minutes to achieve 1-g of centripetal acceleration inside, the velocity would be 3142 miles per hour, about 500 times as fast as a car on the highway, maglev would be required, the gravity and weight of the crust above the tunnel would hold this torus on its tracks, the living space on the inside would be 7,854 square miles, this is almost twice the land area of the big island of Hawaii. Hawaii sustained an ecosystem for millions of years before the first humans arrived on its shores, so I think this ecosystem could be sustained for a mere 20,000 years, as for humans, they would go into suspended animation, or be raised by AI robots towards the end of their journey 20,000 years in the future, the animals couldbe kept alive as part of the food chain in the torus, with some extra stored as frozen ova as backup.

I am not sure about internal structure for a body like SY99.  Pluto has a thick crust composed of frozen nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide.  But my understanding is that even at Pluto temperatures, some atmospheric pressure is required to prevent these gases from subliming.  Pluto is big enough to hold a thin atmosphere at low temperatures, whereas SY99 is too small.  Observations suggest that the larger KBOs have frozen gases on their surfaces, but those beneath 1000km in diameter are generally bereft of them.  But then again, SY99 is further from the sun and colder than any other KBO found to date.  Also, perhaps such volatiles would be more stable if buried under a layer of Tholins.  It is an open question.

The Stanford torus idea would be difficulty, as something so enormous requires huge levels of upfront investment.  Human projects generally do not favour schemes like that if there are smaller, shorter term investments with more rapid breakeven.  It is more likely that a colonised body would contain thousands of smaller habitats, gradually constructed over time as investment becomes available and the need for living space increases with population growth.  Cities on Earth have tended to develop in just such a way.

But the idea is to preserve the human race from whatever threats that might emerge to it from the future, there is no immediate payoff if you are talking about a mission that will last about 20,000 years, my guess is that the government would be paying for it, whatever government deems that preserving the human race to be a worthwhile endeavor. We don't know what's going to happen to us in the next 20,000 years. 20,000 years ago, there were modern humans on the Earth's surface, but because of technology, we can't really predict what humans will look like 20,000 years from now, we can't even predict I there are going to be any humans at all! If humans wipe themselves out early on, my guess is that Earth itself won't be that much affected, the ability to wipe out the human race is much less than that to destroy the planet, so I guess there will be an Earth afterwards. I suspect this Earth may need to be repopulated with various lifeforms in order of sustain future human colonists. We might want to keep a probe at the edge of the Solar System to monitor what dos happen over the next 20,000 years so the future colonists don't repeat that mistake, and in 20,000 years, whatever threat that is should be long gone.

There should be nitrogen and other useful gases combined in the crust as chemical compounds if not frozen gases. Water contains oxygen and hydrogen, Ammonia contains nitrogen and hydrogen methane contains carbon and hydrogen, we should be able to obtan just about whatever gases we need. The torus, could be built over a long period of time, our technology would improve, we could build it over a century, and after acertain point, we just let it go into space and let the AIs run things. Humans either go into full body suspended animation or they store their progeny in the form of frozen fertilized ovum and return to the inner Solar System, or settle on some other  cometary body, and then over the course of the next 20,000 years, whatever happens to the human race happens. There has got to be a reason for the Fermi Paradox, and part of the reason for doing this is to get around this. I suspect part of the reason is that humans may choose to "evolve" into something else, something that does not require an Earthlike planet to thrive in, hence Earth maybe abandoned. The AIs running this installation certainly don't need an Earthlike environment, that might be part of the answer, butit could be something more dire like runaway nanotechnology, nuclear war or a hostile AI takeover!

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#11 2017-04-21 08:03:31

Antius
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2007-05-22
Posts: 901

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

A 20,000 year planetary insurance mission with no immediate payoff?  And you think you can fund construction of a space station almost 800km in circumference with a business deal like that?  Somehow I don't think raiding your piggy bank will do it.  Projects like that tend to be small and short on cash.  If planetary insurance is your thing, it would be better to build a more modest station in high Earth orbit.  There is at least some chance of funding that in the real world.

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#12 2017-04-21 10:22:30

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

What was the immediate payoff for the Apollo Project? There was none! There is no immediate payoff for a 20,000 year mission to Alpha Centauri either, but if you are going to do that, why not do that where you can be sure that an Earthlike planet that can support human life will be waiting at the other end. Interstellar missions are as much travel in time as they are in space, it takes a long time to cross interstellar distances, but what if we don't cross those interstellar distances, what if we just take a long time in a long looping orbit that leads right back to he Solar System? I am sure the Earth 20,000 years hence would be a fascinating place to visit, don't you agree? Costs come down quite a bit when you use artificial intelligence instead of human laborers as well, they whole idea depends on AIs raising human children after all!

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#13 2017-04-21 10:56:04

Oldfart1939
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Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 894

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

Tom-

Your idea is quite similar to the Arthur C. Clarke novel, "Fountains of Paradise."

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#14 2017-04-21 23:16:00

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Kuiper Belt Object 2013 SY99

There is also the factor that we would have 20,000 years to build a 250 mile wide, 10 mile thick Stanford torus, lets break this down a wheel 250 miles in diameter is 785.4 miles in circumference, this is 4,146,902.3 feet, it is also 52,800 feet wide giving a total area of 218,956,441,584.6 square feet, over 20,000 year, we would have to complete, 10,947,822 square feet per year or 29,994 square feet per day, this would be equivalent to a square 173.2 feet on a side, or about little more than half a football field. Fountains of Paradise was about the construction of a space elevator sited on a fictional island in the equator on the Indian Ocean. I do think we will be able to do incredible things with the advent of artificial intelligence, the AIs would spend 20,000 years constructing this Stanford torus out of the material of 2013 SY99, they would also be building and repairing themselves, humans would not be involved in this process. We need something which would stay the same for 20,000 years and which would not evolve into something else, what the remoteness of 2013 SY99 does is it takes away competition, there would be no pressure to always build new and improved versions of AIs, the AIs would would follow their program and not deviate from it. Towards the end of the journey the Stanford torus would be complete, and human children would be raised by robots designed to look and act like their biological parents. the AIs would observe the real parents raising their own children on Earth, and thus gather the information they need to simulate the actual parent's child rearing skills, and then they would go into hibernation for 20,000 years on SY99, and be revived "shortly before the end of the trip, the frozen egg cells would be implanted in an artificial uterus, and the children would be grown to term, the AI robots would raise these children in an environment similar to Earth within the ring. The roof would be 1 mile above the floor, the walls of the torus would be 10 miles apart, so walking inside would be much like walking outside on Earth.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2017-04-21 23:29:19)

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