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Fraser
2007-Feb-01, 01:54 AM
Now here's a feat. The Hubble Space Telescope was able to analyze the atmosphere of a gas giant planet orbiting another star.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/01/31/hubble-sees-an-extrasolar-planets-atmosphere/)

jseefcoot
2007-Feb-01, 05:58 PM
I wonder. . . . .

What are the chances of a rocky planet lying in an orbit outside of such a close orbiting gas giant? A gas giant burning off its atmosphere in the shape of a comet's tail would be an sight from close up.

pantzov
2007-Feb-02, 04:58 AM
for every great imaginary world created in the minds of science fiction writers, nature throws in equally as many.

Mars_Admirer
2007-Feb-05, 02:35 PM
Is this report real? Or unverifiable fiction being peddled as great discovery and fact?

Sometimes, after I read reports like this one, I really wonder if this whole universe and deep space is one giant kaleidoscope or something like a multi-sided giant crystal, something akin to Swarovski's creative stuff, and whether the astronomy community is simply failing to recognize this.

Observe Swarovski's showpieces on the imaginatively illumined display shelves at their showrooms. Usually, there is just one source of light that is beamed/focused on the crystal. But to the observer, it appears as though there are thousands of light sources within the crystal. It makes for a really dazzling, beautiful, sparkling sight.

Even if the observer were inside the crystal at one point, the sight would still be the same -- for the internal structure of the crystal is also multi-sided, multi-planed and many-layered.

Our universe may well be one such giant crystal. Our galaxy may well be on one side/layer/plane.

Instead of external light source, our Sun may be the only light source?

Whatever we see from the surface of earth or through Hubble, etc, may well be just a reflection of our own galaxy from another plane, or a reflection of a reflection, and so on, depending on which angle you are looking at, and the area of the crystal your are gazing at.

So, the image of a star-and-planet-with-atmosphere accompanying the 'news' report, may well be part of our own solar system. It is possibly our own Sun and some planet (Jupiter or Saturn)?

Is God playing tricks and we, in our arrogance and ignorance, not getting it, but getting carried away by our imagined intelligence and toys like rockets, space telescopes, computers, etc????

Imagine we looking at reflections of our own home in various angles and shapes and talking in terms of billions of stars, galaxies, constellations, millions of light-years, so on.

Now, if you think, my description above appears like fiction / imagination / speculation, you are probably right. That is how I too feel reading fantasy-like reports like the one under review.

The point is, astronomy pursuits are not by themselves bad. What makes them questionable is lack of accountability and irrelevance to majority of humanity at large. Also, lack of focus and purpose. Anything seems to go.

If all these fantasy-like reports were true, it still seems to ring God's message loud and clear.

And that is: "Man, my Child, don't waste your time trying to find out what you cannot. I'm too vast, infinite. Just focus on the purpose of your life in human form. If you think your research will help you escape from some feared celestial object on a collision course to Earth, perish the thought. If your motive is greed for imagined material resources out there everywhere, even then perish the thought. There is so much material resources all over the universe that you cannot probably have enough of it. If I have protected Earth for billions of years, what makes you think that you can replace Me as the Guardian Angel merely because you have got for yourself a few toys like nuclear bombs, rockets, spacecraft, missiles, telescopes, etc.?"

:-)

Grand_Lunar
2007-Feb-05, 05:35 PM
Mars_Admirer, you ought to know that religious topics as you brought up do not have a place on these boards. Please re-read the forum rules.

Nor is this really a place for philophical musings. This is a science forum.

Grand_Lunar
2007-Feb-05, 05:37 PM
I wonder. . . . .

What are the chances of a rocky planet lying in an orbit outside of such a close orbiting gas giant? A gas giant burning off its atmosphere in the shape of a comet's tail would be an sight from close up.

I suppose it could be possible. Such a planet may have a really lopsided orbit, due to gravitational interactions, but it is possible.

That would be a great sight to see. No way to miss it!

eburacum45
2007-Feb-06, 09:15 AM
This is a picture I have made of the planet using Celestia;

http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/7232/hd209458bbbg0.th.jpg (http://img239.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hd209458bbbg0.jpg)

Imagine having that in the morning or evening sky most of the time!

Grand_Lunar
2007-Feb-06, 12:53 PM
This is a picture I have made of the planet using Celestia;

http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/7232/hd209458bbbg0.th.jpg (http://img239.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hd209458bbbg0.jpg)

Imagine having that in the morning or evening sky most of the time!

How did that work?

Was that an art program, or something that simulated a planet being near a star?

eburacum45
2007-Feb-07, 04:05 PM
Celestia is a simulation program which displays planets and stars in 3D.
http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
I recommend it very highly.
This image is made using Celestia's display of HD 209458b, although I did adjust it slightly.

O'Leary
2007-Feb-07, 06:59 PM
Neato :surprised

Amber Robot
2007-Feb-07, 07:14 PM
A gas giant burning off its atmosphere in the shape of a comet's tail would be an sight from close up.

I don't think you'd be able to see much at all. The "comet's tail" would mostly be made of diffuse, neutral atomic hydrogen.

jamini
2007-Feb-07, 07:33 PM
"Man, my Child, don't waste your time trying to find out what you cannot. I'm too vast, infinite. Just focus on the purpose of your life in human form. If you think your research will help you escape from some feared celestial object on a collision course to Earth, perish the thought. If your motive is greed for imagined material resources out there everywhere, even then perish the thought. There is so much material resources all over the universe that you cannot probably have enough of it. If I have protected Earth for billions of years, what makes you think that you can replace Me as the Guardian Angel merely because you have got for yourself a few toys like nuclear bombs, rockets, spacecraft, missiles, telescopes, etc.:-)
I must be misinterpreting this. May I ask what point exactly you are trying to convey? Surely not that we abandon all cosmological and astrophysical research & development because itís too complicated? To do so would be a death sentence to our species. Besides the threat of a devastating comet or meteor impact, we have a few billion years to find another planet to inhabit or face extinction; scientific research is the only known path towards reaching that objective. You canít possibly be suggesting that we just sit around and hope for the best???

Or to put it another way in the words of someone far wiser than I:

All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct. - Carl Sagan

All of that notwithstanding, the image and discovery are intriguing, to say the very least. I for one am fascinated with new discoveries such as this.

I had heard that the Hubble telescope was broken. Does anyone know if this was taken prior to its mechanical malfunction or if they have corrected the problem?

Amber Robot
2007-Feb-07, 08:02 PM
I had heard that the Hubble telescope was broken. Does anyone know if this was taken prior to its mechanical malfunction or if they have corrected the problem?

The Hubble is not broken. One instrument on it is. Furthermore, the data used in this analysis were archival data from the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, which is also now defunct (though there are hopes for revival), taken in 2003.

jamini
2007-Feb-07, 08:37 PM
Thanks Amber - It's a fairly important instrument that's broken though, isn't it? Are they working with backup equipment now that's not as good or will we continue to see their breathtaking images without interruption?

Amber Robot
2007-Feb-07, 09:18 PM
Thanks Amber - It's a fairly important instrument that's broken though, isn't it? Are they working with backup equipment now that's not as good or will we continue to see their breathtaking images without interruption?

Of the instruments that were functional, ACS (the one that died most recently) was the most used. The other instruments are still functional and astronomers are rewriting their proposals so that they can do science with those.

Next year there will be a servicing mission which will install a new camera and a new spectrograph, as well as attempt to revive the defunct spectrograph. So, this coming year may be a bit slow, in terms of pretty pictures and "newsworthy" science, but after the servicing mission, there should be a boon of great new observations to revel in.

jamini
2007-Feb-07, 09:20 PM
Of the instruments that were functional, ACS (the one that died most recently) was the most used. The other instruments are still functional and astronomers are rewriting their proposals so that they can do science with those.

Next year there will be a servicing mission which will install a new camera and a new spectrograph, as well as attempt to revive the defunct spectrograph. So, this coming year may be a bit slow, in terms of pretty pictures and "newsworthy" science, but after the servicing mission, there should be a boon of great new observations to revel in.

All things considered, that's good news Amber. Thanks! :)