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Kepler Mission Oddity

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posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:43 PM
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As I had brought up a few weeks ago about the fact that the Kepler mission hasn't either been pointed at, or disclosed information about star systems referenced in antiquity, I have another qualm.

The process by which they discover planets is by observing luminosity dips in a non-variable star, thereby determining from that and other things, that a planet has passed in front of the host star's disc. Correct me if I am wrong.

Here's what confuses me, this technique relies entirely on star systems with planetary discs that are in sync with the ecliptic of Earth's, at least within a small range of degree, correct? This could possibly include the N=S polarity alignment of SOL and the targeted star(s) as well. So, with that being said, and if it is indeed the case, if we have truly found these very promising planets, it would seem that the amount of them out there is indeed, very, very immense.

As to habitability, well, Ill leave that up to you to figure it out.
edit on 6-2-2012 by xacto because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-2-2012 by xacto because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:01 PM
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Originally posted by xacto..., this technique relies entirely on star systems with planetary discs that are in sync with the ecliptic of Earth's, at least within a small range of degree, correct? ...


It would not have to be in sync with the ecliptic of the earth, but rather, the ecliptic of the star system being observed would have to be parallel to the vector angle of the observatory azimuth/elevation.

The odds of this occurring are not exactly big. That said, if some planets have been discovered by using this method, I would agree with you that there is an exponential amount of non-discoverable planets(using said method) out there.

edit on 6-2-2012 by Glargod because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-2-2012 by Glargod because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by Glargod

Originally posted by xacto..., this technique relies entirely on star systems with planetary discs that are in sync with the ecliptic of Earth's, at least within a small range of degree, correct? ...


It would not have to be in sync with the ecliptic of the earth, but rather, the ecliptic of the star system being observed would have to be parallel to the vector angle of the observatory azimuth/elevation.

The odds of this occurring are not exactly big. That said, if some planets have been discovered by using this method, I would agree with you that there is an exponential amount of non-discoverable planets(using said method) out there.

edit on 6-2-2012 by Glargod because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-2-2012 by Glargod because: (no reason given)



That's the explanation I was looking for. Makes sense.

Yea, it's fairly mind numbing, especially considering our system is at a significant angle to the galactic plane.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:07 PM
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You know, i never even thought about that issue. Just blows the mind thinking about all the possibilities out there.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by Glargod
 

I think this is why the planet-hunters are now telling us that every star probably has planets. It looks like every star they are able to image with this technique (or at least every one they have inspected so far) has them.

Planets, planets everywhere. Maybe there are intelligent aliens on the planets of Alpha Centauri.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Glargod
 

I think this is why the planet-hunters are now telling us that every star probably has planets. It looks like every star they are able to image with this technique (or at least every one they have inspected so far) has them.
No, far from it. Kepler looked at about 145,000 main-sequence stars. So far Kepler has identified just over 2,300 candidates (systems that may have planets, but have not been verified by other means as having them). Only 61 of those have been confirmed as having planets. So while Kepler has discovered a lot of exoplanets and potential exoplanets, it's far from being "every star."



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 02:25 AM
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reply to post by nataylor
 

You're right about Kepler; thanks for the figures. The 'every planet has a star' result comes from a gravitational microlensing study. You can read the abstract of the original paper in Nature, or this article about it in Popular Science. Apparently the actual average per star seems to be about 1.6 planets, but I reckon this is an early-days under-estimate.



posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 07:52 AM
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What do we know ? We are just barely starting to discover... We are going, everyday, every moment, from "impossible" to "possibly a bit" to "obviously several", in all domains of knowledge, including detection of exoplanets. Now that we have that "obviously several", it will pretty much likely, like all the rest, become the today's "possibly a bit" that will trigger the tomorrow's "obviously several".

I think it is simply beyond human imagination to comprehend, to have a grasp at the vastness of the universe, or even just our small galaxy amongst the billions over billions of others.

So, in a ridiculously small part of our galaxy, we have many hundreds, if not thousands, of planets. How many billions in just our galaxy ? And how many billions of other galaxies ?

Just that, just that is enough to force us to some humbleness. We must face it : we are just an atom in the ocean, not even a droplet. Our whole solar system is just an atom. So small, so much like so many others, everywhere.

Obviously.



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