Skip to comments.Top exoplanet finds of 2013
Posted on 01/04/2014 9:14:30 AM PST by Farnsworth
1. The Earthiest
Kepler-78b is most similar to Earth in mass, diameter and composition; it could be made of rock with an iron core. But its no Earth analog, whizzing around its star in 8.5 hours, with temperatures exceeding 2,000° Celsius (SN Online: 10/30/13).
2. The wettest
HR 8799cs atmosphere lacks methane, which could signal life, but does have water and carbon monoxide (SN: 4/6/13, p. 5). Water has also been found in the atmospheres of WASP-17b, HD209458b, WASP-12b, WASP-19b and XO-1b.
3. The rogue
Planetary candidate PSO J318.5-22 has no parent star. The object is roughly six times the mass of Jupiter, has features similar to other directly imaged exoplanets, including HR 8799c, but floats through space all alone (SN Online: 10/9/13).
4. The runt
Kepler-37b is the littlest planet found to date. At 3,860 kilometers across, the exoplanet is about 30 percent of the diameter of Earth or 80 percent the width of Mercury (SN Online: 2/20/13).
Sad that that Kepler bit the dust. All of these worlds just from one tiny part of the sky!
I think they have a plan to keep using Kepler.
It is interesting how a lot of these exoplanets are in very tight orbits around their star. Maybe our instruments are biased to short orbits and we will find some longer orbits over time, but still, a lot of these planets orbit in only a few hours or days.
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Is it the astronomers, desiring continued (or increased) funding, or is it funding administrators, lacking in scientific knowledge, but eager to justify their jobs, or is it journalists, dreaming of being part of the fifth-column mainstream media, who are responsible for the “Earth-like” hype of yet another exoplanet, which for one reason or another, as usually mentioned at the end of the article after the hype, cannot support any biological life as we know or conceive it?
indeed. I think another planet hunting mission is on the books.
While I get the basics of how they do the search, I still got to think there is a lot of crap in interstellar space between our scopes and a planet 33 light years away.
never know unless you look. There are 2 potential candidates right here in our solar system, maybe 3 that are much easier to look at than something light years away.
I know some folks don’t believe life is out their because of religious beliefs. For a universe that is infinite, why would God make it so empty and devoid of any other life?
Scientists have not determined whether the universe is infinite (that is, there are an infinite number of galaxies, stars, and planets).
What God was thinking when He made the universe would only be known through direct divine revelation, and His divine revelation does not address whether or not God created life (edible or otherwise) on other planets or exoplanets.
From an honest look at the Fermi Paradox it would seem that there are no other extraterrestrial beings in the Milky Way galaxy with the capablity or desire to travel to other planets, including our own
Also, there are an increasingly discovered number of galactic, solar, and planetary parameters which have a limited range of values necessary for the existence of carbon-based sentient life, capable of travel to other planets. Combined, these parameters make the probability of ET a very, very small number, even in our galaxy of billions of stars.
Looking for habitable planets around other (nearby) stars is a good idea, since the human race will need to terraform and populate such planets in the future. But reports hyping the existence of life on exoplanets with only one or two parameter values within its habitable range, are simply ignorant or dishonest.
“Milky Way galaxy with the capability or desire to travel to other planets, including our own”
I agree, while I like the idea of interstellar travelers, I doubt it. But I don;t think looking for planets in the goldilock zone is a waste of time. I think looking makes for refinement of the search and who know what will be discovered along the way.
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