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New Planets and how to discover them

Discussion in 'Vintersorg' started by Alteredmindeath, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Alteredmindeath

    Alteredmindeath Wasteland Survivor

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    [​IMG]
    IS THAT GOD?

    The planet was found in the Sagittarius constellation. This photo, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows an area of that constellation knows as the Omega or Swan Nebula.


    A new planet-hunting technique has detected the most Earth-like planet yet around a star other than our sun, raising hopes of finding a space rock that might support life, astronomers reported on Wednesday.
    "This is an important breakthrough in the quest to answer the question 'Are we alone?"' said Michael Turner of the National Science Foundation.
    "The team has discovered the most Earth-like planet yet, and more importantly, has demonstrated the power of a new technique that is sensitive to detecting habitable planets," Turner said in a statement.
    In the last decade, astronomers have detected more than 160 planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. The vast majority of these have been gas giant planets like Jupiter, which are hostile to life as it is known on Earth.
    But an international team has detected a cold planet about 5-1/2 times more massive than Earth -- still small enough to be considered Earth-like -- orbiting a star about 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer), close to the center of the Milky Way.
    A light-year is about 6 trillion miles, the distance light travels in a year.
    To find this new planet -- named OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb -- the team used a technique called gravitational microlensing.
    OGLING A NEW PLANET
    This method uses a network of telescopes to watch for changes in light coming from distant stars. If another star passes between a distant star and a telescope on Earth, the gravity of the intervening star acts like a lens and magnifies the incoming light.
    Distance, in light years, that the new planet is from our solar system","6 trillion
     
  2. Azzor1911

    Azzor1911 HyBreed

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    wow cool, i also read this article somewhere else. i doubt there would be any life on it though. would probably be too cold on the surface. they would most likeley find life in the oceans of saturn's moon Europa, if only Nasa wouldnt waste their money on the ISS.
    anyway, Mr. V, what's your opinion on this discovery?
     
  3. George

    George Member

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    I'd be very surprised if there wasn't life on other planets.
     
  4. amf

    amf Member

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    Read about this. It's just so damn awe-inspiring what those astronomicans do, a tiny difference in a star's light spectrum or orbit and from that they can ascertain that there's a planet there, and even what kind of planet. Just incredible.

    Though not much hope of life on this particular planet. Apparently it was a very cold place, around -220 C IIRC. Very cool discovery, none the less.


    In my opinion, space exploration is the one thing that makes civilisation desirable.
     
  5. DragonKeeper

    DragonKeeper czarica i pijana

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    whoa, that photo is amazing...so pretty :)
     
  6. Tumn

    Tumn baptized in blood

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    So where is the planet in that picture?
     
  7. George

    George Member

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    I dont think that the planet is in there. I believe I've seen the picture before on the hubble website. Just eye candy.
     
  8. Hieronimus

    Hieronimus Music-addict

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    Heh, the planet won't be viewable on pictures, it's much too far away. Another reason you won't find it in that picture is 'cause there are clouds there. There wouldn't be any clouds near a planet due to gravitational effects.

    The technique used, microlensing, is a very well-thought of one. You always thought light travels in a straight line? Nope, it doesn't. When there are large gravitational forces, light can be bent. Example:
    [​IMG]
    You're seeing 4 times the same star here. There is a star behind the center star, of which the light is bent by the gravitation of the center star, so you see 4 times the star behind the center star. If the mass of the center star would be equally divided over its volume, you'd see a perfect circle around the center star.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is also the way microlenses work, yet on a smaller scale and for a shorter timespan (say 1 or 2 months). Because the light from a distant star is bent alongside a star which is more closer to us, it focuses the light of a distant star (thus working as a lens), making it seem more bright to us. After a certain period, the luminosity drops again. From this, you can conclude the mass of the star that is closest to us as well as certain specifications from the star further away. By observing certain wobble-effects in that star's motion (also observable by the same technique), you can determine whether there is a satellite orbiting that star and you can determine it's mass as well.

    Saying all this as a 1st year astronomy student, I love my study. :dopey:

    Btw, here's some more gravitational stuff, check it out:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    A LOT of times the same objects.
     
  9. George

    George Member

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    Oh I get it,:loco:
     
  10. Alteredmindeath

    Alteredmindeath Wasteland Survivor

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    Cool stuff indeed Hieronimus, I am obsessed with space travel and the stars. I do find it a mystery that drives me insane. I don't trust NASA though, I just think about all the astronauts that have died ,and there has been way too many, and the ways they have died... it is just insane.
     
  11. amf

    amf Member

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    Because they have had fatal accidents? They are unfortunately inevitable, every company and organisation has accidents, all the time, it doesn't matter how carefull and cautious you are. It's just that accidents at a space exploration organisation naturally are more serious and more often fatal than accidents at a pillow-stuffing company. If machinery breaks down on a space shuttle it will crash, if it happens at the pillow company there will just be feathers all over the place.
     
  12. DragonKeeper

    DragonKeeper czarica i pijana

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    Wow, I never knew that...that is really interesting! I tried to get into astronomy class this semester but it was full...hehe I still need a class with a lab to graduate. So the specific gravity caused by a star's mass effects light waves also?...amazing :)
     
  13. amf

    amf Member

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    That is also the physical law that makes black holes (which is a stupid name, by the way, they are not holes) black. Their mass is so high, so that at a certain proximity (demarcated by the so called "event horizon") the gravitation is so great that not even light can escape it. So it becomes a region that emits no light at all and thus will appear pitch black.
     
  14. DragonKeeper

    DragonKeeper czarica i pijana

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    well, i knew about black holes and how they are formed...the gravitational force created by a dying star collapses on itself and creates a reverse pull or something and sucks everthing in, including light.
     
  15. amf

    amf Member

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    Well, you just said that you didn't know that gravity affected light waves, so... ;)
     
  16. The Minds Eye

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    That is such a beautiful picture! Guys keep on topic but also keep posting amazing photos like that one!
     
  17. DragonKeeper

    DragonKeeper czarica i pijana

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    well i meant in a certain way as bending the light through a lense...hehe sorry i should have made that clearer.
     
  18. thruldom

    thruldom Member

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    You should read Stephen Hawkings "Universe in a nutshell" ( på svenska universum i ett nötskal), it's kind of mind boggling how the modern cosmology works, especially when you read it with something from mr V's later albums on.

    That book, i can recommend, if you are intrested in such matters ( i think that mr Hawkings says there is only one equation in the whole book, so you don't have to be a math geek to read and enjoy it, though it may or may not help)
     
  19. amf

    amf Member

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    Have to advertise this program I found to you: ;)
    http://www.shatters.net/celestia/

    Free, and only 13 Mb's to download, it's a model of the Milky Way and beyond - made to scale! Thousands of stars are included, with names, correct size, luminosity. All placed in their correct locations relative to each others, and the correct distance from each others too (fortunately it allows you to travel many many times the speed of light :) )!

    I just love the little program, am sitting enthralled by it for hours. One moment jumping from galaxy to galaxy, the next looking at our distant sun from under the red skies of Titan. :Spin:


    While on the subject of book recommendations I have to mention the perhaps most obvious one; the amazing "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. I suspect most interested have heard about or read it already, but in case someone has missed it, read it!

    As with the book recommended by Thruldom (which I embarrassingly enough haven't read), this book is very easily digested. Greene's pedagogics are excellent.
     
  20. Braighs

    Braighs twelve strings of darknes

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    Wow! Thank you for that recommendation.
    Now I am orbiting Oberon looking at Uranus with Venus and Earth near the sun. I also like Google Earth. There is so much information on there from random people marking places.
     

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