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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Exoplanet News Thread (Post here any discoveries related to extrasolar planets)
Exoplanet News Thread
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 20.12.2012, 15:09 | Message # 76
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Really great they're finding planets of all sizes now. I am really hoping they'll find an Earth sized one and detect oxygen. That would be incredibly awesome.




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planethunter13Date: Thursday, 20.12.2012, 15:09 | Message # 77
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they did find earth sized, but i do not know about the oxygen part but i hope they do.
 
NeonDate: Thursday, 20.12.2012, 15:09 | Message # 78
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Well, that's good news. If they can find one that small, there's good hope for an Earth style planet. I hope
to see one found before I drop off this big blue blob.
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 04.01.2013, 01:36 | Message # 79
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The first observation of streams of material flowing from the outer part to the inner part of a protoplanetary disk has been observed by ESO's unfinished ALMA telescope array. The gap in the disk, and the streams of material flowing across it, are consistent with the existence of giant planets in the gap. Such streams of matter have been predicted in simulations, but none have been observed before now. The star in question is the relatively nearby HD 142527, which you can visit in SpaceEngine.

Artist's impression of the system


Comparison with the actual observation


ESO release
Space.com article





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Friday, 04.01.2013, 01:41
 
SalvoDate: Friday, 04.01.2013, 10:36 | Message # 80
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"My God, it's full of planets!"

NASA Kepler released last month 18,406 planet-like detection events from its last three year mission to search for exoplanets (Kepler Q1-Q12 TCE). Further analysis is required by the NASA Kepler Team and the scientific community to extract and identify true planets, including those potentially habitable. The Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo (PHL) performed a preliminary analysis and identified 262 candidates for potentially habitable worlds in this dataset. These candidates become top priority for further analysis, additional observations, and confirmation.

The Kepler Threshold Crossing Event (TCE) dataset consists of a list of stars with 18,406 transit-like features that resemble the signatures of transiting planets to a sufficient degree that they are passed on for further analysis. Many of these objects are false positives caused by stellar transits or other physical and instrumental conditions not related to planets. Those that pass additional tests are added to the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOI) list, currently at 2,320 candidates, for further validation. Finally, those verified by more astronomical observations supplement the 132 Kepler confirmed planets so far.

Only the best TCE objects, those with more than three transit events, were selected for the analysis in accordance with the PHL’s Habitable Exoplanet Catalog (HEC) criteria. This reduced the sample to 15,847 objects eliminating a known instrumental bias for one-year period planets. Unfortunately, this also eliminated many interesting objects but more analysis will be required to sort out longer period planets. HEC identified and sorted with the Earth Similarity Index (ESI), a measure of Earth-likeness, 262 potentially habitable planet candidates. These include four subterrans (Mars-size), 23 terrans (Earth-size), and 235 superterrans (super Earth-size).

The preliminary analysis performed by the PHL helps to sort out and rank the best candidates for further exploration in NASA Kepler’s TCE. Twenty-four of these have an ESI over 0.90 and therefore are quite Earth-like according to what is measurable. For example, the best candidate is an Earth-size planet in a 231 days orbit around the star KIC-6210395, which receives about 70% of the light that Earth receives from the Sun. More are expected with a similar period to Earth but they will be added later to HEC after further analysis. It will still be remarkable if only 50% of these turn out to be real planets.

It is estimated that there are millions of Earth-like planets in our Galaxy. However, most of these are out of our observational abilities for the coming decades, and probably many centuries. Only a small fraction of these planets, the ones that transit their star, are good enough for better characterization and to confirm their potential for life. This result suggests that there are over 8,500 transiting very Earth-like planets within reach of NASA Kepler-like missions, assuming the Kepler field is representative of all the sky. This sample is enough to occupy astronomers for many years.

(taken from here)





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Edited by Salvo - Friday, 04.01.2013, 10:36
 
TimDate: Friday, 04.01.2013, 12:33 | Message # 81
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I read an article this week that scientists used Kepler-32's planetary system to measure the total amount of planets in the Milky Way.
Their calculations said that there are one to two planets for every star in the galaxy. So 100 to 200 billion planets.

Kepler-32 is in Space Engine, but with barely any information.
The star has 5 planets (2 in SE) and spectrum M. The researchers claim this is one of the better stars to base thair measurements on, since probably 75% of the stars in our galaxy have Spectrum M, and thus look like this one.

I'd give you my source, but it's in Dutch.
 
QuietlyConidentDate: Friday, 04.01.2013, 16:01 | Message # 82
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The new data-sets from Kepler just came through two hours ago. Incredible news. Note that none of these are confirmed, but it's likely a lot are real. It will take a few months to sort through the data, and make sure some of the candidates are not errors or noise. But still. If only half of these are real, then it more than quadruples the number of known exoplanets.

15,874 possible-new planets.
262 potentially habitable.
1 is 97% Earth-like.

http://exoplanetarchive.ipac.caltech.edu/cgi-bin....ry3_tce

This is a really neat little chart showing exactly where the new exoplanet candidates fall in the planetary spectrum:
 
apenpaapDate: Friday, 04.01.2013, 16:29 | Message # 83
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Very cool chart indeed. It's funny too how much it shows the bias towards planets close to their sun.




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DoctorOfSpaceDate: Friday, 04.01.2013, 19:29 | Message # 84
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The first observation of streams of material flowing from the outer part to the inner part of a protoplanetary disk has been observed by ESO's unfinished ALMA telescope array.


That is quite awesome.





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smjjamesDate: Wednesday, 09.01.2013, 19:35 | Message # 85
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Very cool chart indeed. It's funny too how much it shows the bias towards planets close to their sun.


Not real surprising though given the great length of time our outer planets orbit. I believe there are some gas giants at Jupiter+ (I assume that is what's meant by cold zone) equivalent distances from their host stars that have been discovered with other methods.

Added (09.01.2013, 22:35)
---------------------------------------------
The 'zombie planet' strikes again with its oddness! biggrin
http://www.space.com/19187-zombie-planet-shocking-orbit.html

The Vega system asteroid belts resemble ours on a much larger scale and could very well have hidden planets.
http://www.space.com/19190-asteroid-belt-vega-hidden-planets.html

Vega, like Fomalhaut, is an A class star and is about 450 million years old, give or take, so there certainly won't be life around either star. If anything, we'd find proto-life, and that's assuming theres a planet around either star that has the right conditions.

Edit: They also happen to both be about 25 light years away.







Edited by smjjames - Wednesday, 09.01.2013, 19:41
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 10.01.2013, 05:25 | Message # 86
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The new data-sets from Kepler just came through two hours ago. Incredible news. Note that none of these are confirmed, but it's likely a lot are real. It will take a few months to sort through the data, and make sure some of the candidates are not errors or noise. But still. If only half of these are real, then it more than quadruples the number of known exoplanets.


Just read an interesting article on one of them.


LONG BEACH, Calif. — A possible alien planet discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope is the most Earth-like world yet detected beyond our solar system, scientists say.

With a radius that is just 1.5 times that of Earth, the potential planet is a so-called "super-Earth," meaning it is just slightly larger than the Earth. The candidate planet orbits a star similar to the sun at a distance that falls within the "habitable zone" — the region where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. Scientists say the planet, if confirmed, could be a prime candidate to host alien life.

"This was very exciting because it's our fist habitable-zone super Earth around a sun-type star," astronomer Natalie Batalha, a Kepler co-investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said Tuesday (Jan. 8) here at the 221st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

The find could be the closest so far to an Earth twin beyond the solar system, she said. The object's host star is a G-type star just slightly cooler than our own sun.

"It's orbiting a star that’s very much like our sun," Batalha added. "Previously the ones we saw were orbiting other types of stars."

The object takes 242 days to orbit its star (compared to Earth's 365 days) and is about three-quarters of the Earth-sun distance from its parent. The Earth orbits 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from the sun on average, a distance known as 1 astronomical unit.

"It's a big deal," astrophysicist Mario Livio, of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, told SPACE.com. "It's definitely a good candidate for life."

Based on its characteristics, the possible planet may or may not be rocky, but it certainly has the possibility of liquid water.

"Maybe there's no land life, but perhaps very clever dolphins," Livio joked.

The possible planet is called KOI 172.02 (KOI stands for Kepler Object of Interest, a designation assigned to all planet candidates found by the telescope until they are confirmed as planets). The discovery was announced at the meeting Monday (Jan. 7) by Christopher Burke of the SETI Institute as part of a batch of 461 new planet candidates found by Kepler.

Kepler finds potential planets by looking for periodic dips in the brightness of stars caused by planets passing in front of them, blocking some of their light. Astronomers have multiple ways to confirm that these candidates are actual planets, such as looking for small variations in the timing of the planets' passes in front of stars caused by the gravitational tug of other planets in the system.

Kepler launched in 2009 and was recently granted an extended mission until at least 2016. The telescope has detected 2,740 candidate planets thus far. While just 105 of them have been confirmed to date, Kepler scientists estimate that more than 90 percent will end up being the real deal.

"There is no better way to kick off the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life-bearing worlds," Burke said in a statement.


Source: http://www.space.com/19201-most-earth-like-alien-planet.html

Pretty interesting news.





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smjjamesDate: Thursday, 10.01.2013, 06:32 | Message # 87
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I wonder what the size threshold point would be where it's going to be 100% covered in water...

Of course though, circumstances of formation could change that.

Anyways, sounds like that planet is in approx the same place in its systems habitable zone. Even if it DID turn out to be life bearing, it's probably hundreds or thousands of light years away, so we'd need some form of warp (or other FTL) technology to get there in a reasonable amount of time.





 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Thursday, 10.01.2013, 06:59 | Message # 88
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(smjjames)
so we'd need some form of warp (or other FTL) technology to get there in a reasonable amount of time.


That all depends on whose time we are talking about. Earth time or ship time. We could always use relativistic space flight to get there.






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Edited by DoctorOfSpace - Thursday, 10.01.2013, 06:59
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Wednesday, 20.02.2013, 21:37 | Message # 89
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Kepler has discovered a planetary system which includes two worlds smaller than Earth, including one that is about the size of the Moon, making it the smallest planet known to human science - extrasolar or otherwise (this assumes of course that it's not just the largest member of a population of objects that can't be observed). The new planetary system - Kepler-37 - was discovered around a Sun-like star.



NASA release
Space.com article

The script for adding these into SE is attached.

Attachments: Kepler-37_sys.txt(1Kb)





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Thursday, 21.02.2013, 13:48
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Wednesday, 20.02.2013, 21:59 | Message # 90
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
one that is about the size of the Moon,


That is quite incredible.





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