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NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Discovers Extraordinary New Planetary System

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posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 04:01 PM
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This is quite remarkable news; The Kepler spacecraft has made a remarkable discovery, a Sun-like star with six orbiting planets.


Scientists using NASA's Kepler, a space telescope, recently discovered six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, which is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth.



Kepler-11 is a sun-like star around which six planets orbit. At times, two or more planets pass in front of the star at once, as shown in this artist's conception of a simultaneous transit of three planets observed by NASA's Kepler spacecraft on Aug. 26, 2010.

Image credit: NASA/Tim Pyle



This artist’s conception shows the Kepler-11 planetary system and our solar system from a tilted perspective to demonstrate that the orbits of each lie on similar planes.

Image credit: NASA/Tim Pyle

"The Kepler-11 planetary system is amazing," said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist and a Kepler science team member at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "It’s amazingly compact, it’s amazingly flat, there’s an amazingly large number of big planets orbiting close to their star - we didn’t know such systems could even exist."

All of the planets orbiting Kepler-11, a yellow dwarf star, are larger than Earth, with the largest ones being comparable in size to Uranus and Neptune.
The innermost planet, Kepler-11b, is ten times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun.
Moving outwards, the other planets are Kepler-11c, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, Kepler-11f, and the outermost planet, Kepler-11g, which is twice as close to its star than Earth is to the sun.

"The five inner planets are all closer to their star than any planet is to our sun and the sixth planet is still fairly close," said Lissauer.

In other words, Kepler-11 has the fullest, most compact planetary system yet discovered beyond our own.


www.nasa.gov...


edit on 2/2/11 by spacevisitor because: Made some corrections and did some adding




posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 04:11 PM
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The orbit of Mercury seems off from the bottom picture...
Anyways if this is right i think the habitable zone is the last planet. Who knows perhaps there's other plants yet not discovered in this solar system like gas giants.

This is very interesting, so many planets infront of the sun like that could cause some interesting days with little black spots on their "Earth" (the last planet in the image)




posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 04:17 PM
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I see now that Wildeagle posted this already in this thread,

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Sorry for the inconvenience mods, you can if you find it necessary please remove this one.


Originally posted by Wildeagle
Well here is the result!

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Discovers Extraordinary New Planetary System


Scientists using NASA's Kepler, a space telescope, recently discovered six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star, known as Kepler-11, which is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth.

"The Kepler-11 planetary system is amazing," said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist and a Kepler science team member at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "It’s amazingly compact, it’s amazingly flat, there’s an amazingly large number of big planets orbiting close to their star - we didn’t know such systems could even exist."


There is a whole lot more to read on this here. www.nasa.gov...

I would like to also link you to another thread that a member graciously posted, on educating us about exoplanets. www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 07:58 PM
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Sweet!
From the Kepler Website:



It seem Kepler11f is the one more "earth-like" (although i don't know how much that name fits)
It has 2.3 Earth Masses, and 2.6 Earth radius, it orbits Kepler11 at 0.250 au (some 37.399.467Km if google is correct)

About the star:


Stellar Parameters

G dwarf star
Kepler magnitude = 13.7
Visual magnitude = 14.2
Alternative designations used in catalogues: KIC 6541920 and KOI-157.
Distance from Earth: about 2,000 light-years
Spectroscopic analysis of a high-resolution spectrum taken at the Keck I telescope leads to:
Effective temperature Teff = 5,680 ±100 K
Surface gravity log[gsurf (g cm s-2)] = 4.3 ±0.2
Metallicity [Fe/H] = 0.0 ±0.1 dex,
Projected stellar equatorial rotation of vsini = 0.4 ±0.5 km s-1.
Mass = 0.95 ±0.10Msun
Radius = 1.1 ±0.1Rsun
DrakusComment: So it's mass and radius is comparable to our Sun, which means those planets are nicely baked, probably...

Huge find, kepler dudes!


edit on 2/2/2011 by drakus because: Added geek-food

edit on 2/2/2011 by drakus because: Stars will be stars



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 08:42 PM
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reply to post by drakus
 


None of the planets are earth like or even super earths if i heard correctly, all of them are smaller jovian planets. Due to their larger radius' and low masses, which were much more precisely calculated than most other exoplanets because of the ability to study the transit variations caused by gravitational tugging of the planets.

And for the other poster, the habitable zone would be slightly further from the star than our own solar system with Kep11 being 1.1 Solar Radii and the same spectral type as our own sun.


edit on 2-2-2011 by Stuffed because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by Stuffed
reply to post by drakus
 


None of the planets are earth like or even super earths if i heard correctly, all of them are smaller jovian planets. Due to their larger radius' and low masses, which were much more precisely calculated than most other exoplanets because of the ability to study the transit variations caused by gravitational tugging of the planets.



edit on 2-2-2011 by Stuffed because: (no reason given)

You're right, i stand corrected.
I was refering to their sizes, i totally missed that fact, cue homer's duh!



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