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View Full Version : Astronomy makes the cover of TIME - and it's not Pluto!



ToSeek
2006-Aug-27, 10:29 PM
How stars were born (http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/08/27/coverstory.tm/index.html)


Richard Ellis paces impatiently back and forth across a small room lined with computer terminals, trying to contain his mounting frustration.

Tonight he intended to bag something most astronomers consider next to impossible: the most distant galaxy ever seen -- and not the farthest by just a little bit.

The current record for distance, held by Japan's Subaru telescope, is for a galaxy whose light started its journey to Earth a billion years or so after the Big Bang. But Ellis suspects he has found not one but six galaxies from an astonishing half a billion years earlier still.

A discovery like that would give astrophysicists their first real glimpse into a crucial and mysterious era in the evolution of the cosmos. Known as the Dark Ages of the universe, it's the 200 million-year period (more or less) after the last flash of light from the Big Bang faded and the first blush of sun-like stars began to appear.

Dr Nigel
2006-Sep-02, 05:23 PM
That sounds pretty exciting. Sometimes I think I chose the wrong science.

Although, following the link and reading the Time article, have we really discovered exoplanets that are thousands of light-years away?

Tobin Dax
2006-Sep-02, 09:34 PM
That sounds pretty exciting. Sometimes I think I chose the wrong science.

Although, following the link and reading the Time article, have we really discovered exoplanets that are thousands of light-years away?
From what I've heard (and I don't have a paper link for this), planets have been discovered in the galactic bulge via gravitational lensing techniques. That is indeed thousands of lightyears away (~25,000 ly).

Edit: Here ya go. I hopped over to astro-ph and found this: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0403387

Manchurian Taikonaut
2006-Sep-02, 09:57 PM
The majority of the extra solar worlds discovered thus far were found using radial velocity measurements or also know as doppler measurements of the exoplanet going round a know Star.

There are three other methods, Star motion can be detected by star by astrometry giving inofrmation on any planets in an alien solar system or Transit can give us indirect observation of a planet ( space missions kepler and corot will search for rocky worlds much like astronomers did in our solar system during the transit of Venus )
Gravitational microlensing events are another method but they occur relatively quickly are very distant, very distant planets have been found with this method but the microlensing events are rare so they do not reoccur often.


Direct visual images may be the most promising they have been confirmed by ESO's telescope site and NASA's Hubble telescope

Dr Nigel
2006-Sep-04, 07:25 PM
From what I've heard (and I don't have a paper link for this), planets have been discovered in the galactic bulge via gravitational lensing techniques. That is indeed thousands of lightyears away (~25,000 ly).

Edit: Here ya go. I hopped over to astro-ph and found this: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0403387

Thanks for the info. That paper is a little advanced for me, astrophysics-wise, but I think I got the gist of it.