It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Yet another major step towards the discovery of life outside our Earth...

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:28 AM
link   
Measuring Brightness of Super Earth 55 Cancri e




NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has, for the first time, captured the light emanating from a distant super Earth, a planet more massive than Earth but lighter than Neptune. Super Earths can be either rocky or gaseous. In this case, theorists propose that the planet, called 55 Cancri e, has a rocky core surrounded by a layer of water in a "supercritical" state, where it is both liquid and gas. Topping it all off is thought to be a blanket of steam. It's as if Neptune were somehow dragged closer to the sun and stripped of its large atmosphere.


Source




This graphic above illuminates the process by which astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, detected the light from a super Earth planet.

The brightness of the planet was measured as the star passed behind its star (an "occultation"), causing a slight dip in the total light of the system. The occultation is much easier to detect in infrared light since the planet glows brightly due to its high temperature. Such measurements help astronomers determine conditions on the planet itself.


Source and full hi-res picture




Super Earths are exotic planets unlike any in our solar system. They are more massive than Earth yet lighter than gas giants like Neptune, and they can be made of gas, rock or a combination of both. There are about 70 known to circle stars beyond our sun, and NASA's Kepler mission has detected hundreds of candidates. These planets' relatively small sizes make them very hard to see.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to detect a super Earth's direct light for the first time using its sensitive heat-seeking infrared vision.

Seen here in this artist's concept, the planet is called 55 Cancri e. It's a toasty world that rushes around its star every 18 hours. It orbits so closely -- about 25 times closer than Mercury is to our sun -- that it is tidally locked with one face forever blisters under the heat of its sun. The planet is proposed to have a rocky core surrounded by a layer of water in a "supercritical" state, where it is both liquid and gas, and then the whole planet is thought to be topped by a blanket of steam.


Read the whole paper and download the full hi-res pictures here
edit on 9-5-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 9 2012 @ 10:39 AM
link   
Anyone remember that blue object that came into view when Japan launched it's telescope or something and everyone debunked it as dust, Len's flare, swamp gas, and the yada, yada, yad. Anyone find it interesting that this object is BLUE.......... So just curious, is this another Chinese Lantern?



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 11:07 AM
link   
I was reading about this earlier today. I was highly inspired after reading Carl Sagan's 'The Cosmic Connection - An Extraterrestrial Perspective' (its fantastic)

What I find amazing is that they could have detected it being so close to its mother star and what with all the interference the star must produce. I haven't researched it properly, but would they not have been able to detect the planet using the conventional method of looking for light signatures of the planet's shadow against the star?



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 11:56 AM
link   
This is certainly interesting, I really doubt however spectrum analysis of these distant objects will ever really lead to a discovery of life. I think the only hope we have, is if there are signs of life within our own solar system.



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 05:54 PM
link   
Wait a min. Wouldnt a superEARTH imply that the planet is made of earth/rock. So how can a superearth be made of gas if its a superearth, woulnt it be more like a superjupiter or supersaturn?



ETA: im gonna have to agree with the poster below me. not seeing the connection here.
edit on 07/16/2009 by Lichter daraus because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2012 @ 05:58 PM
link   
I'm not seeing how this discovery is "Yet another major step towards the discovery of life outside our Earth." The planet is super hot at several thousand degrees farenheit and not suitable for life as we know it. It's not as if they haven't found thousands of other planets over the last few years. Unlike many other planets discovered, this is not even in the so-called "Goldilocks Zone."
edit on 5/9/2012 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2012 @ 02:29 AM
link   
reply to post by schuyler
 


If you can see the light from the alien planet, you can run the light though a spectral analyzer. This is how we can find the tell tell signs of life.
edit on 10-5-2012 by BIGPoJo because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 10 2012 @ 03:17 AM
link   


not suitable for life as we know it
reply to post by schuyler
 


exactly!!!
we are discovering life in places that wasnt possible until we stopped the ignorance and found it
life could be everywhere under any circumstances



posted on May, 10 2012 @ 08:20 PM
link   

Originally posted by elevenaugust



NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has, for the first time, captured the light emanating from a distant super Earth,



This graphic above illuminates the process by which astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have, for the first time, detected the light from a super Earth planet.

The brightness of the planet was measured as the star passed behind its star (an "occultation"),



NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to detect a super Earth's direct light for the first time using its sensitive heat-seeking infrared vision.

Seen here in this artist's concept, the planet is called 55 Cancri e. It's a toasty world that rushes around its star every 18 hours. It orbits so closely -- about 25 times closer than Mercury is to our sun -- that it is tidally locked with one face forever blisters under the heat of its sun. The planet is proposed to have a rocky core surrounded by a layer of water in a "supercritical" state, where it is both liquid and gas, and then the whole planet is thought to be topped by a blanket of steam.



Hi ele,
First off I am not crazy about reporters telling things about discoveries as they are are usually more prone to blunder then the discoverers themselves.
For instance it says a star orbiting a star. A typo I assume.
Then the report goes on to say the tele captures light. Then there are graphics.
They are not really photos of the planet are they?
This amazes me. This planet/star whatever revolves around it's sun TWENTY FIVE times closer than Mercury is to the earth's sun. That average is 36 million miles. Do the math

Just wow. How hot is that sun? It must be pretty cool if they claim there is water on the planet. Now this planet is said to go round it's star in 18 hrs. Mercury takes 88 days to go round the sun.
How could they even see this orb?
Wow bazarro world. Who do you think lives there?
Merry go round people??
I know ATS will straighten me out. Maybe this makes no sense at all.lol
ps oh crap am I dizzy oooooh ljb
edit on 5/10/2012 by longjohnbritches because: dizzy



posted on May, 12 2012 @ 12:37 AM
link   
reply to post by elevenaugust
 


While interesting, it's not even a small step, this has absolutely nothing to do with the discovery of life, as this planet would not be able to support any lifeform as we know it.



new topics

top topics



 
5

log in

join