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New Device may allow us to view planets that are in other solar systems.

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posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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When we look at stars, the brightness makes it impossible for us to look at orbiting planets. Now there is a new device that will allow astronomers to view 'exoplanets' with out that pesky glare from the star.



www.sciencedaily.com

TUCSON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- An optical device created at the University of Arizona allows astronomers to view extrasolar planets without the distracting glare of the parent star.

Researchers say that can be accomplished by "nulling" the light of the parent star by exploiting its wave nature, leaving the reflected light from the nearby planet to be observed in space-based detectors

Direct viewing of an exoplanet -- a planet that orbits a star other than the sun -- is difficult. Seeing the planet next to its bright star has been compared to trying to discern, from a distance of 300 feet, the light of a match held next to the glare of an automobile's headlight.

The approach taken by Grover Swartzlander and colleagues eliminates the star's light by sending it through a special helical-shaped mask that nulls the light as if an opaque mask was placed across the image of the star


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Point it at Zeti Reticuli


Really though, this is very exciting who knows what kind of information we will be able to gather on exoplanets. I have high hopes of finding something fantastic.




posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:00 AM
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Wouldn't this permit seeing other smaller planets? Normally the ones that can be detected are the ones that are several times the mass of jupiter, and they're detected because of gravitational effects.

So imagine now that they have some candidate stars that have a massive jupiter-monster planet that is some distance from the star, they could look with this to see if there is an earth sized rock planet between them? That'd be great.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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That would be a amazing feat If they can really do it. The Host star is just so many times brighter then even massive planets.

I remember seeing a concept for a deep space telescope array that they claimed in theory could see planets in other solar systems. It was something like a bunch of super Hubble Space Telescopes that were all working together as a single massive space telescope.

It would be so amazing to one day see a tiny blue planet out there.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Wouldn't this permit seeing other smaller planets?


Right, but I believe this is more than just detecting and is actual viewing. I'm not sure how much detail we will be able to get using this method to view planets, but I'd imagine it would be much like using a 'regular' telescope.

Recently astronomers have found the 'smallest' planet outside of our solar system. It has the mass of Neptune.



www.sciencedaily.com

Scientists discover red dwarf exoplanet

LA SILLA, Chile, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A team of French and Swiss astronomers working in Chile has discovered one of the lightest exoplanets ever found.

The scientists made their discovery using the European Southern Observatory's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile.

The newly found exoplanet -- an extrasolar planet that orbits a star other than the Sun -- is orbiting a star belonging to the class of red dwarfs. Since such stars are very common, the scientists say their discovery proves crucial in the census of other planetary systems.
...

The newly found planet is about 17 times the Earth's mass, or about the mass of Neptune and, therefore, one of the smallest ever found.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The new device allowing us to view planets that are blocked out by star light is pretty cool though. Like ShadowXIX said, it would be amazing to find a little blue planet out there.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:29 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Wouldn't this permit seeing other smaller planets? Normally the ones that can be detected are the ones that are several times the mass of jupiter, and they're detected because of gravitational effects.


Not only that but it's theoretically possible with certain techniques being used and developed right now to actually image individual continent on earth sized planets. We could detect the first technological alien civilization within the next century because if we can do that then we should be able to detect the glow from any cities etc. We would also be able to tell wether there is life on other planets without civilization as well. It's going to be a very exciting 20 years!!!



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I remember seeing a concept for a deep space telescope array that they claimed in theory could see planets in other solar systems.

So did I, in Discovery Magazine I think. This is probably the detector for it.

I remember seeing the first actual photo of a planet posted a while back, but can't find it. If I recall it was taken with an infrared camera. I tried to search for it, but nothing came up (which happens a lot with ATS search).

It will be very cool to see what is out there. After looking around a while, they will be able to fill in real numbers into the Drake equation.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:44 AM
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Is this the photo that you are refering to?



Variable Stars



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by Umbrax


Point it at Zeti Reticuli



bahaha thats the first thing I thought when reading this thread title...



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by kenshiro2012
Is this the photo that you are refering to?

No, but it is similar. I believe it was from an ATSNNews article a couple of months ago. I'll look again later, when I have time. Thanks anyway.



posted on Dec, 5 2005 @ 08:30 PM
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This is very cool, to say the least.
Though when they have this up and running, I'm gonna laugh if the lens is scratched, or is not set right (like what happened with the hubble telescope).



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 12:22 AM
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Its cool to think that you could actually see distant planets. But supposing it works wouldnt you simply be seeing something that happened years if not eons ago?



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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Whompa, the planet-finding telescopes will be looking at stars in our local galactic neighborhood (within 100 light years). According to NASA there are approximately 14,000 stars within a 100 ly sphere of our solar system.

imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov...

There are about 1,000 stars similar to our own sun within 100 ly of us. So no doubt there will be all kinds of "near-Earths" and planets similar to Earth in our neighborhood. Since Earth has been pretty stable as far as overall climate, continents etc. for the last 12,000 years, it's a pretty safe bet that any planets we find will not have changed much. Even if somehow we're able to detect evidence of civilization but all that they're expecting to see are blurry continents/oceans.

So it makes sense to look for planets near to Earth vs. say, stars that are 20,000 ly away on the other side of the Milky Way or 14 million ly away in Andromeda. The farther away we look, the farther in the past is the light that we're seeing. Civilizations and planets can come and go in such large-scale time periods.

universe.v10.com.br... - Interesting page show the perspective and scale of the Universe.

[edit on 6-12-2005 by enhancedesign]



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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Great find umbrax.


Exciting stuff - like sardion said, it's gonna be an exciting 20 years. Then we can move.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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If I had a choice to move to a "fresh" planet I would. Unfortunately that option will only be available to the rich and powerful while the rest of us get to live in a toxic wasteland.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 01:23 PM
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When? I want to know when they can get this device up an running. This is definately the most exciting thing I've heard come out of the astronomical community for....well ever. I knew they were planning a space-based inferometer(sp?) to look for other planets, but that was scheduled for next decade sometimes. This is a lot sooner than I expected.

If they can get this thing up an running soon, hopefully they'll find another earthlike planet. Maybe one with a lights on the darkside...if you catch my drift. That'd make them forget all about microbacteria on Mars.



posted on Dec, 6 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by enhancedesign
Whompa, the planet-finding telescopes will be looking at stars in our local galactic neighborhood (within 100 light years). According to NASA there are approximately 14,000 stars within a 100 ly sphere of our solar system.


And probably more too! There's absolutely no way we've found all the red dwarfs in that area.



14 million ly away in Andromeda.


Just a bit of an aside... The Andromeda Galaxy is only about 2.2 million lya.



posted on Dec, 7 2005 @ 04:26 PM
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This is great news. I just saw a program on the Science Channel a couple of months ago on the subject of detecting planets in other solar systems. As stated above they could only detect gas giants at this point, but that got me wondering about all the moons that maybe orbiting those gas giants.

I know Io is heated to the point of being unbelievable volcanic due to Jupiter's gravity tugging on it. So could a moon in the right orbit around a gas giant be heated enough to be earthlike without being so violent?



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