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Originally posted by XPLodER
i think they rely on the change in expected orbital period to extrapolate the "invisable" planet,
it cannot be detected by the planet passage induced change of light "eclipse" of the planet in front of the sun,
the second "invisable" planet is unseen but required to explain the orbital quirk of "being too slow" from transit to transit
i think thats what it means
Invisible World Discovered
See CfA Release 2011-24 Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011.
Excerpt: Cambridge, MA. Usually, running five minutes late is a bad thing since you might lose your dinner reservation or miss out on tickets to the latest show. But when a planet runs five minutes late, astronomers get excited because it suggests that another world is nearby.
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has spotted a planet that alternately runs late and early in its orbit because a second, “invisible” world is tugging on it. This is the first definite detection of a previously unknown planet using this method. No other technique could have found the unseen companion.
“This invisible planet makes itself known by its influence on the planet we can detect,” said astronomer Sarah Ballard of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Ballard is lead author on the study, which has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
“It’s like having someone play a prank on you by ringing your doorbell and running away. You know someone was there, even if you don’t see them when you get outside,” she added.
Both the seen and unseen worlds orbit the Sun-like star Kepler-19, which is located 650 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. ...
The first planet, Kepler-19b, transits its star every 9 days and 7 hours. It orbits the star at a distance of 8.4 million miles, where it is heated to a temperature of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Kepler-19b has a diameter of 18,000 miles, making it slightly more than twice the size of Earth….
If Kepler-19b were alone, each transit would follow the next like clockwork. Instead, the transits come up to five minutes early or five minutes late. Such transit timing variations show that another world’s gravity is pulling on Kepler-19b, alternately speeding it up or slowing it down. … the planet Neptune was discovered similarly.…
Originally posted by TupacShakur
Do they mean invisible in the sense that it is literally unable to be detected by optical telescopes, or do they mean invisible just because they haven't directly observed it? I'm guessing the latter, unless there's a dark-matter planet orbiting a star somewhere.
The invisible planet is different. They apparently didn't see a transit dimming for the invisible planet which is why they call it invisible.
Originally posted by Illustronic
It's not invisible, that's layman MSNBC language for the stupid. It can't be seen it's too far away, math suggests it's there and the minute light dimming of the star they can measure plus there may be a detected wobble in the star they can see which is how they discover 99% of planets outside of our solar system, even closer ones than 650 light years away.