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Unseen Planet Revealed by its Gravity - First success!!

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posted on May, 11 2012 @ 02:34 AM
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This is great news as this is the first time that this method was successfully used to detect exoplanets.
We will have to wait for Earth-sized planets to be discovered this way though, as the gravity field will surely be smaller; it was a Saturn-sized planet that was found using this technique....
Sounds promising anyway!!


Using Kepler Telescope transit data of planet “b”, scientists predicted that a second planet “c” about the mass of Saturn orbits the distant star KOI-872. This research, led by Southwest Research Institute and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is providing evidence of an orderly arrangement of planets orbiting KOI-872, not unlike our own solar system. Credit: Courtesy Southwest Research Institute


More than a 150 years ago, before Neptune was ever sighted in the night sky, French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier predicted the planet’s existence based on small deviations in the motion of Uranus. In a paper published in the journal Science online, a group of researchers led by Dr. David Nesvorny of Southwest Research Institute has inferred another unseen planet, this time orbiting a distant star, marking the first success of this technique outside the solar system.



Scientists analyzed Kepler Telescope data and identified KOI-872 as a stellar system where measured transits of a planet orbiting the star show large time variations (the shifting bumps in the data) indicative of a hidden companion. A team led by Southwest Research Institute and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics determined that the observed variations can be best explained by an unseen planet about the mass of Saturn orbiting the host star every 57 days. Credit: Courtesy Southwest Research Institute

Source: Astrobiology magazine




posted on May, 11 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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that's awesome news, s+f!



posted on May, 11 2012 @ 06:49 AM
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I feel like these discoveries are just teasing us because we can't realistically reach these places, unless we work out some sort of stasis thing, but then while you'd be frozen, people you know back at home would still age



 
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