Skip to comments.Kepler Spies Smallest Alien Worlds Yet
Posted on 01/11/2012 7:08:25 PM PST by KevinDavis
AUSTINNASA's Kepler space telescope has found its tiniest extrasolar planets yet. The three rocky worlds are smaller than Earth; the smallest one is barely larger than Mars. Together, they constitute the most compact planetary system ever seenless than 5 million kilometers across. Moreover, the parent star, known as KOI-961, is a puny red dwarf, just 70% larger than the giant planet Jupiter. Indeed, says astronomer John Johnson of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, the KOI-961 system is more akin to Jupiter and its moons than to a sunlike star with orbiting planets.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.sciencemag.org ...
It is good news. Real estate there will be as valuable as in Hong Kong.
I'll feel much more comfortable with my place in the universe when our equipment gets better at picking out smaller planets.
If all they find are rocks then I’m not interested. I have plenty of rocks in my soil. Who is paying for this anyway??
I was reading another story that said these wouldn’t have been found around a larger brighter star. On the other hand, red dwarves are extremely long lasting stars (possibly as much as a trillion year life span) and might be a more likely place to find life. Red dwarves are also the most common type of star.
Or it could be we are finding more large planets, because, oh, I dunno, THEY ARE BIGGER?
I’m glad. As I was getting bored with hot Jupiters with Mercury orbits.
It would be a shame if most solar systems were like that because it would mean that stable systems were a rarity.
Heck, I'd like some details about stuff that's only couple of light hours out (besides mass, size, and spectroscopy).
But who cares what a cook worries about. ;)
Only the people who eat, my FRiend, only the people who eat...
please tell me you don't have a copy of To Serve Man...
The way I understand it... we're going to seive those out first. Heavy enough to make the star wobble a lot, or large enough to block a teensy bit of the light.
And rapid enough that we can get a circadian without waiting centuries.
But I'm not up on the technology. I'm just a cook.
Anyone for BBQ?
I want my baby back baby back baby back...
It is cool that we're here at the threshold between a world that remembers Johnathan Swift, and a world that may actually get statistically valid numbers for the local part of this galaxy.
Baby steps (no pun intended), but we've made a lot of progress since I was a kid.
Your last name wouldn't happen to be Donner would it??? ;^)
Planets are good news. We expect them now.
It’s the anomalies we haven’t found yet and can’t explain that could be worrisome.