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New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

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New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby steven lloyd » Nov 10th, 2012, 9:48 am

New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system
CBC News

An international team of astronomers has discovered what they are calling a new 'super-Earth,' which is seven times the mass of Earth and has the right conditions to support life.

An international team of astronomers has discovered what they are calling a new "super-Earth," which is seven times the size of Earth and has the right conditions to support life.

Called HD40307g, the new planet exists in a zone of a nearby star and is part of a six-planet system.

Scientists had already known about the star and its other three uninhabitable planets but after using an instrument that was more sensitive to wavelengths, they were able to discover another three, including the super-Earth.

A report, appearing in Astronomy and Astrophysics, said the super-Earth exists in an area that supports liquid water and is in the outermost orbit from the star.

Its orbit around the host star is at a similar distance to Earth's orbit around our Sun and also gets a similar amount of energy from the star that Earth receives from the Sun. This means there is a stable atmosphere to support life. As well, the planet is likely to be rotating on its own axis as it orbits the star, producing a daytime and night-time effect, much like Earth.

"The longer the orbit of the new planet means that its climate and atmosphere may be just right to support life," said Hugh Jones of the University of Hertfordshire, which participated in the research.

"Just as Goldilocks likes her porridge to be neither too hot nor too cold but just right, this planet, or indeed any moons that it has lie in an orbit comparable to Earth, increasing the probability of it being habitable."

The planet orbits the star in about 200 Earth-days and now joins a growing list of 800 known planets beyond our solar system.
The super-Earth and its two sister planets were previously undetectable until the team used the Harps instrument at the European Southern Observatory's facility in Chile. The instrument detects tiny changes in the colour of a star's light triggered by a planet's gravitational tug.

Lead author of the paper, Mikko Tuomi, said the instrument allowed for increased "sensitivity" and enabled the team to identify three new planets.

http://sync.sympatico.ca/news/contentpo ... bled=false
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby zzontar » Nov 10th, 2012, 10:00 am

I'm sure if there's an intelligent species on that planet and we ever make it there, they'll welcome us like a landlord welcomes a tenant who just trashed his last place.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby Bsuds » Nov 10th, 2012, 10:11 am

Well if I am correct the planet is 7 times Earths mass. So wouldn't it have 7 times the gravitational pull?
If so we would all be 7 times heavier there. I don't think I'm going there if I'm gonna weigh 1300 lbs!
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 10th, 2012, 11:36 am

How would we know if it had any gravitational pull?
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby Bsuds » Nov 10th, 2012, 11:43 am

grammafreddy wrote:How would we know if it had any gravitational pull?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_gravity
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby jennylives » Nov 10th, 2012, 11:45 am

grammafreddy wrote:How would we know if it had any gravitational pull?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s ... ravitation
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 10th, 2012, 12:01 pm

Thanks (to both of you :D). I know about Newton's Law of Gravity but that assumes everything inside our universe reacts the same ... but what about masses outside our universe? Beyond our sun and its influences? Waaaaaaaaay out there?

I wouldn't make a very good astronomer scientist. I scare too easily and when I think of how incredibly vast the "world" is outside and beyond what we know now (as opposed to what we knew 100 years ago, say) it is a scary black and dark world out there. I need my blankie to hide under. :D
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby jennylives » Nov 10th, 2012, 12:20 pm

The law applies to the whole universe.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby LoneWolf_53 » Nov 10th, 2012, 12:46 pm

jennylives wrote:The law applies to the whole universe.

How do you know? Maybe there's a parallel universe at the other end of a black hole with different rules. :D
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby grammafreddy » Nov 10th, 2012, 1:07 pm

LoneWolf_53 wrote:
jennylives wrote:The law applies to the whole universe.

How do you know? Maybe there's a parallel universe at the other end of a black hole with different rules. :D


Yeah, that's kinda my point ... and why I need my blankie :D Scary stuff.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby WhatThe » Nov 10th, 2012, 1:49 pm

LoneWolf_53 wrote:
jennylives wrote:The law applies to the whole universe.

How do you know? Maybe there's a parallel universe at the other end of a black hole with different rules. :D

Then, that would be a different universe.

Anyway very cool. Earth like planet, I wonder if there's life there, even microbial.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby Bsuds » Nov 10th, 2012, 3:39 pm

grammafreddy wrote:
Yeah, that's kinda my point ... and why I need my blankie :D Scary stuff.


Why would it scare you? Are you planning a trip way out there, and even if you did you would be dead before you got there so why be scared.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby Sn0man » Nov 10th, 2012, 6:02 pm

WhatThe wrote:
Anyway very cool. Earth like planet, I wonder if there's life there, even microbial.


I have a feeling we're going to find a lot of earth-like planets as technology continues to improve. Seems planetary systems are the norm, and with hundreds found to date it's only a matter of time.

As to how we'd ever get there to explore though - that's a whole other ball of wax.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby WhatThe » Nov 10th, 2012, 10:22 pm

[quote="Sn0man wrote:
I have a feeling we're going to find a lot of earth-like planets as technology continues to improve. Seems planetary systems are the norm, and with hundreds found to date it's only a matter of time.

As to how we'd ever get there to explore though - that's a whole other ball of wax.


I have a feeling we're going to find a lot of earth-like planets as technology continues to improve. Seems planetary systems are the norm, and with hundreds found to date it's only a matter of time. [/quote]
It's very cool indeed. Yes you're right, there had to be a first at some point, the math suggests it.
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Re: New 'super-Earth' found in six-planet system

Postby jccamp95 » Nov 11th, 2012, 8:14 am

Bsuds wrote:
grammafreddy wrote:
Yeah, that's kinda my point ... and why I need my blankie :D Scary stuff.


Why would it scare you? Are you planning a trip way out there, and even if you did you would be dead before you got there so why be scared.


Maybe its not about us going there, but them coming here! YIKES

As Hollywood has shown us 99.95% of aliens are not overly friendly - especially Kang and Kodos :skyisfalling:
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