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Spitzer Detects Shadow of 'Super-Earth' in Front of Nearby Star

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posted on May, 6 2011 @ 11:28 PM
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Spitzer Detects Shadow of 'Super-Earth' in Front of Nearby Star


ScienceDaily (May 5, 2011) — NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the crossing of a solid planet in front of a star located at only 42 light-years in the constellation Cancer. Thanks to this detection, astronomers know that this "super-Earth" measures 2.1 times the size of our Earth. This is the smallest exoplanet detected in the neighborhood of our Sun.

"So far, the exquisite capabilities of Spitzer have been extensively used to study known transiting exoplanets, all of them being giant planets similar to Jupiter or Neptune. For the first time, Spitzer is used to detect the transit of a super-Earth, a solid planet not much larger than our own Earth," says Michaël Gillon from University of Liège (Belgium), the leader of the team that made this detection. "Thanks to the high-precision of Spitzer, we now know the nature of this planet, and, interestingly, it is very different from all the planets of our solar System."

The planet name is 55 Cancri e. With 8 times the mass of the Earth, for a size 2.1 larger, it is simply too big to be purely ........


Click link above for more information.




posted on May, 6 2011 @ 11:32 PM
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Well we found another one.. RElatively close when viewed in galactic scales (40 light years), 2 time larger than the Earth.

The enviornment is consistent with that of Venus. Because of the proximity of the Star, scientists should be able to study this planet in detail.

Now if we can just find a planet that has inhabitantslooking back at us.



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 11:38 PM
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Thanks for the link - Love this stuff

I am really wondering if anyone knows how big and how precise a telescope would have to be in order to see another planet in detail. Would be cool to look at another planet and see if there are lights on the dark side. I think then it would count as proof of intelligent life elsewhere.
edit on 6-5-2011 by R3KR because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2011 @ 11:58 PM
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Great Thread OP, I was trying to find out and one of you guys mite know,if we find a earth like planet 2, 3, 4 time larger than the Earth would its gravity limit life in any way like maybe the size of it inhabitants?
Star and flag I love this kind of stuff to lol Thanks.



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 12:31 AM
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reply to post by R3KR
 


That would be a pretty cool thing to see, lights on the dark side of a planet. Im not sure how large a telescope would need to be in order to directly observe a planet to that extent... Here is hopinh its right around the corner though. I get tired of hearing about earth politics only.. A Change would be nice...



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 12:34 AM
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reply to post by FarBeyondDriven69
 


Not sure how much gravity has to do with it. Judging by some of the larger species in our own past, like planets and trees, they were larger because of the atmosphere content (richer in areas than current). Even then it might not be entirely accurate if we take a look at the Giant redwoods and sequoia trees in California (things are massive).



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 12:37 AM
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S & F

Great find.
Every year it seems we are discovering more and more and what appears to be an ever accelerated pace.



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by Xcathdra
reply to post by FarBeyondDriven69
 


Not sure how much gravity has to do with it. Judging by some of the larger species in our own past, like planets and trees, they were larger because of the atmosphere content (richer in areas than current). Even then it might not be entirely accurate if we take a look at the Giant redwoods and sequoia trees in California (things are massive).
The bigger the earth like planet is the more gravity, it has to make some difference. Look at humans in space zero gravity our body's start to change.



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 02:12 PM
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There are biological reasons why life forms grow to their given size, and that links to why the carbon based life forms can grow large and methane and ammonia based life forms remain microscopic. It has a lot to do with supporting the cellular structure in mass, and therefore a given gravitational pressure.

A small bird like a hummingbird can hover motionless while a pterodactyl is yet unproven it could have actually have flown instead of just gliding. Its sort of why you don't see elephants jump.



posted on May, 7 2011 @ 02:20 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 



There are biological reasons why life forms grow to their given size, and that links to why the carbon based life forms can grow large and methane and ammonia based life forms remain microscopic. It has a lot to do with supporting the cellular structure in mass, and therefore a given gravitational pressure.

I am sorry, but i never heard about any calculations or experiments proving that in ANY conditions carbon-based life form will be able to grow larger (and/or more complex) then all other possible life forms. Doubt that it exists.
However i will be glad to read a work about Earth like conditions and carbon based life forms complexity vs methane/ammonia ones. If you have a link i will really appreciate it.
edit on 7-5-2011 by ZeroKnowledge because: forgot to add

In your own examples Humming bird will not be able to hover on Venus/Jupiter/Mercury. For all different reasons. And something the weight and size of Elephant but not carbon-based and not needing oxygen will be easily able to jump on Moon.
We soon will be able to create life forms that will not be based on carbon and will be capable to exist in toughest of conditions. Why do you think it did not happen elsewhere in infinite Universe?
Life as we see it on Earth is not the only possibility,surely.
edit on 7-5-2011 by ZeroKnowledge because: (no reason given)



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