posted on Mar, 2 2012 @ 08:16 AM
I hesitated posting this either here or in the art section, but I think that having a closer view of what could looks like other worlds will help us
in our global understanding of exoplanets.
These renditions were made using last datas from Kepler telescope
, so they tend to be more realistic than any
previous artist rendering.
Kepler-35 planet system
Lynette Cook's artful rendition of the Kepler-35 planet system, in which a Saturn-size planet orbits a pair of stars. The larger star is
similar to the size of the Sun, while the smaller star is 79% of the Sun's radius. The stars orbit and eclipse each other every 21 days, but the
eclipses do not occur exactly periodically. This variation in the times of the eclipses motivated the search for the planet, which was discovered to
transit the stars as it orbits the pair every 131 days. Analogous events led to the discovery of the planet Kepler-34. The discovery of these two new
systems establishes a new class of circumbinary' planets, and suggests there are many millions of such giant planets in our Galaxy.
Illustration by Lynette Cook
Artistic rendition by Mark Garlick of Kepler-35 system. Dr. Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute, co-author of the discovery paper and
lead-author of the Kepler-16 discovery stated, “With this paper, the new field of comparative circumbinary planetology is now established.”
Illustration copyright by Mark A. Garlick
Rendering from Mark A. Garlick
Artistic rendition of Kepler-35b circumbinary planet. A circumbinary planet has two suns, not just one. The distances between the planet
and stars are continually changing due to their orbital motion, so the amount of sunlight the planet receives varies dramatically. Illustration by
Illustration by Lior Taylor
This is an artist's conception of Kepler-20e, the first planet smaller than the Earth discovered to orbit a star other than the sun. A year
on Kepler-20e only lasts 6 days, as it is much closer to its host star than the Earth is to the sun. The temperature at the surface of the planet,
around 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, would melt glass—much to hot to support life, as we know it.
Kepler-20e is likely to be entirely rocky and without an atmosphere. The planet is tidally locked, always showing the same side to its host star, as
the moon to the Earth, and could have large temperature differences between its permanent night and day sides.
Astronomers think that the planet is likely to be geologically active, due to its own formation process and the strong gravitational interactions with
its host star. In this artistic depiction, the planet is represented with active volcanoes on both the night and day sides.
Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This is an artist's conception of Kepler-20f, the closest object to the Earth in terms of size ever discovered. With an orbital period of
20 days and a surface temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit, it is too hot to host life, as we know it.
Image credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
This artist's concept illustrates Kepler-16b, the first planet known to definitively orbit two stars -- what's called a circumbinary
planet. The planet, which can be seen in the foreground, was discovered by NASA's Kepler mission.
The two orbiting stars regularly eclipse each other, as seen from our point of view on Earth. The planet also eclipses, or transits, each star, and
Kepler data from these planetary transits allowed the size, density and mass of the planet to be extremely well determined. The fact that the orbits
of the stars and the planet align within a degree of each other indicate that the planet formed within the same circumbinary disk that the stars
formed within, rather than being captured later by the two stars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle
NASA's Kepler mission has discovered a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one. The planet, called Kepler-16b, is the
most "Tatooine-like" planet yet found in our galaxy and is depicted here in this artist's concept with its two stars. Tatooine is the name of Luke
Skywalker's home world in the science fiction movie Star Wars. In this case, the planet is not thought to be habitable. It is a cold world, with a
gaseous surface, but like Tatooine, it circles two stars. The largest of the two stars, a K dwarf, is about 69 percent the mass of our sun, and the
smallest, a red dwarf, is about 20 percent the sun's mass.
Most of what we know about the size of stars comes from pairs of stars that are oriented toward Earth in such a way that they are seen to eclipse each
other. These star pairs are called eclipsing binaries. In addition, virtually all that we know about the size of planets around other stars comes from
their transits across their stars. The Kepler-16 system combines the best of both worlds with planetary transits across an eclipsing binary system.
This makes Kepler-16b one of the best-measured planets outside our solar system.
Kepler-16 orbits a slowly rotating K-dwarf that is, nevertheless, very active with numerous star spots. Its other parent star is a small red dwarf.
The planetary orbital plane is aligned within half a degree of the stellar binary orbital plane. All these features combine to make Kepler-16 of major
interest to studies of planet formation as well as astrophysics.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt
Kepler-22b planet system
This image is an artist's conception of planet Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.
It is the first planet that NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star's habitable zone -- the region around a star where liquid water, a
requirement for life on Earth, could persist. The planet is 2.4 times the size of Earth, making it the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of
the habitable zone of a star like our sun.
This diagram above compares our own solar system to Kepler-22. The diagram includes the habitable zone where water can exist in liquid
form. Kepler-22's star is a bit smaller than our sun, so it's habitable zone is slightly closer in. The orbit of Kepler-22b around its star takes 289
days and is about 85% as large as Earth's orbit. Both images credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
edit on 2-3-2012 by elevenaugust because:
(no reason given)