The Oort Cloud as it is known to physicists is a massive collection of comets that periodically shed one of its comets off toward the Earth. And now scientists at NASA believe they have discovered what appears to be a strange object that is in charge of the Oort Cloud's periodical projectiles. The discovery of this object may in the long run cause more mystery than answers as we attempt to learn what precisely is going on out in space.
The object has been calculated to be approximately four times the size of Jupiter. Since Jupiter is itself almost large enough to be a star, it's curious how another object has been discovered to be four times larger could be so dark. The massive object was first theorized to exist when John Matese and Daniel Whitmire of the University of Louisiana suggested that nothing smaller than a Jovian Mass would be capable of exerting enough power to project these objects outward. And this could mean that the massive object could be another addition to our solar system. It has even been suggested that the object could be the long anticipated "Planet X" so many have theorized to exist. Still astrophysicists are suggesting that this Planet X may actually be something even more incredible - the long theorized star known as Nemesis.
And the existence of this Nemesis star would also explain why Earth has mass extinction events so regularly. As Nemesis moves near the Oort cloud it attracts comets with its gravity. And as these comets are pulled from the Oort cloud they approach Nemesis. But in the vast configuration of the objects if Nemesis passes them by and shoots off toward Earth at incredible velocities, it is possible that some of them are pulled away too late and as a result simple start shooting off past the edges of the Oort cloud but still too far to be caught in the orbit of Nemesis and hurtle toward the next close massive object, the Sun. While some of these objects would head toward the sun at an angle, eventually getting caught in its orbit and swirling slowly toward the sun itself, others would get shot directly at the Earth and subsequently pepper it with massive icy asteroids large enough to end all life on the planet. The result would be a mass extinction on the planet shortly after the Oort Cloud came close to Nemesis as it passed by.
It's almost poetic, actually, that if this were the case the planet would eventually provide -perhaps entirely by chance- for the development of a race of beings to one day defend it through the use of technology and science. Of course if a comet were heading directly toward Earth with our current technology we would still find it difficult to combat the pure gravitational force of something so massive as the theorized stellar object Nemesis. And of course if the theory is correct, it should be worth noting that the next pass of this theorized Nemesis is quickly approaching.