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Thread: Discussion: A Dozen New Planets Discovered

  1. #1
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    SUMMARY: In the last month planet hunters have uncovered 12 new worlds orbiting other stars, bringing the total planet count to 145. Two European planet hunting teams have discovered 6 gas giants as part of the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Search (HARPS), and an American team uncovered 5 more using the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii. And a single, Pluto-sized planet was discovered orbiting a pulsar by Penn State's Alex Wolszczan and Caltech's Maciej Konacki.

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    What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

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    One thing interesting about this story is that only one of the planets discovered was much more massive than Jupiter, which suggests that we may have found many of the nearby massive hot-Jupiters already, and are now going to begin finding increasingly more normal solar systems, of which ours may be a member.
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  3. #3
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    With the discovery of more planets and the possibility of microbial life on mars taken together would make us reconsider our view of the universe, that it's not a lonely place to be, that there could be other solar systems, which may noy be like our own, nevertherless places that harbor life. A picture existing only in our imagination many years ago yet increasingly becoming a probability

  4. #4
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    This is great news

    So what planet or what system discovered looks most like Earth ??

    Upsilon Andromedae , HD 70642 in Puppis, 51Peagsi, Bellerophon, 70 Virginis b, HD 27442 , 47 Ursae Majoris, Epsilon Eridani's planet, 70 Ophiuchi, Eta Cassiopeiae, Tau Ceti ?

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    Guest_alfchemist Guest
    oops! that was me

  6. #6
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    it seems we are getting closer and closer to finding other earthlike worlds. i for one am excited. since i was a small child, i've drempt of setting foot on another world. hopefully the new info from mars and all the newly discovered planets will give the "space race" a kick in the butt.

  7. #7
    Guest_alfchemist Guest
    What's happening here? when I first viewed the thread, it was only fraser, then when I posted something, post by antoniseb appeared, then I tried to post again just to tell that the first guest was me but when I saw my post, there was another guest, and then greenone. Moderator, pls help! is my pc just too slow?

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    Moderator, pls help! is my pc just too slow?
    Well maybe, but more likely its just that this story has generated alot of interest.

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    PS--sign in!

  10. #10
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    This is great that we are discovering so many extra-solar worlds. However, I don't know why they are bothering to look for these things in such asbstract places such as around a pulsar. You would think that they would pick out the closest sun-like stars for their search and move further out from there. It's great that we know planets exist around pulsars and other strange phenomenons around the galaxy, but I am more interested in finding an earthlike planet capable of supporting life. A discovery of this magnitude may indeed spark an interest in space and the space race and maybe even more funding to learn as much about these alien earth-like worlds.

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    Originally posted by Guest_Ender@Feb 18 2005, 06:56 PM
    It's great that we know planets exist around pulsars
    So far there are only planets known around one pulsar, and many of the tens of thousands of known pulsars have been observed closely enough that planets would have been seen. Since this pulsar clearly had a companion star that it consumed while spinning up, these planets could be from the other star's collection.

    We are probably ten to twenty years away from having the instruments needed to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars.
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    Originally posted by antoniseb+Feb 18 2005, 07:25 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (antoniseb @ Feb 18 2005, 07:25 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Guest_Ender@Feb 18 2005, 06:56 PM
    It&#39;s great that we know planets exist around pulsars
    We are probably ten to twenty years away from having the instruments needed to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars. [/b][/quote]
    Hi, Anton.

    Are saying Earth-like planets, beyond the solar system, have only been observed orbiting pulsars?

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Oliver

    http://www.umr.edu/~om

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    Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Feb 18 2005, 07:55 PM
    Are saying Earth-like planets, beyond the solar system, have only been observed orbiting pulsars?
    That is something of a misrepresentation of what I have said. The only planets observed outside our solar system with Earth-like masses are orbiting ONE millisecond pulsar, and NO other pulsars have been observed with planets at all.

    This is not a clarification, this has been the situation all along, and you are either aware of that or getting forgetful.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by antoniseb@Feb 18 2005, 07:25 PM
    We are probably ten to twenty years away from having the instruments needed to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars.
    Even though we are still a few years away from detecting these planets, we still should be searching with the technologies that we currently have for any planetary systems around the stars closest to us. If there is an earth-like planet lurking around one of these stars close by, we will have a much better chance of seeing/finding it because of the stars close proximity to us. by the way does anyone know how far away the farthest planet we have detected thus far is. Also, have we tried to detect planets around the alpha proxima/centauri system. From what I understand this system would not be a bad canidate for having a habitable zone where life could exist.

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    So far there are only planets known around one pulsar
    There are actually 2 confirmed pulsars wiith planets, 1 of which has multiples, and several other suspected of having planets. See here for example.

    Also there are a couple of explanations for why there may have been planatary objects left after the explosion of the progenitor leading to the pulsar. The idea that they might be the remnants of a companion&#39;s system of planets seems pretty remote to me, considering that they all orbit closer to the neutron star than Mercury orbits our sun. That is not to say it can&#39;t happen though, and it might also be the case that they were planets in orbit around the progenitor itself.

    A study by Rasio,Shapiro and Teukolsky (Formation of a &#39;planet&#39; by rapid evaporation of a pulsar&#39;s companion ) suggest that it is the destruction of the companion itself that gives rise to the planets. Further, the &#39;companion&#39; does not necessarily have to be another star, it could be a closely orbiting large planet (hmm, have we seen any of those?).

    This is similar to the findings of by D.P. Hamilton and M.C. Miller (U. Maryland) (Planet Formation Around Pulsars ) where they describe a mechanism where a close companion star is disrupted by the SN explosion, leaving behind enough debris to accrete close-orbiting rocky companions.

    You may recall there is some speculation that a large planet is orbiting a neutron star/white dwarf pairing ("Oldest Known Planet Identified") so it is also possible that the neutron star could "pick up passengers" in its travels.

    Finally, there are simulations done suggesting that a small amount of heavier material left over from the SN explosion could remain in orbit around the NS and could accrete into these closely-orbiting planets.

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    One thing interesting about this story is that only one of the planets discovered was much more massive than Jupiter, which suggests that we may have found many of the nearby massive hot-Jupiters already, and are now going to begin finding increasingly more normal solar systems, of which ours may be a member.
    You&#39;ve voiced this hope before, but it has already been shown that our system is different from the rest, and that was taking the detection bias (larger mass planets are easier to detect) into account.
    This paper is more careful in it&#39;s conclusions than me, but our solar system is definitely an oddball system.

    Cheers.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by VanderL@Feb 18 2005, 11:06 PM
    our solar system is definitely an oddball system
    You mean because of the way Venus was formed?
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    You mean because of the way Venus was formed?
    No, because of the place and mass of Jupiter in our system.

    Cheers.

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    Originally posted by VanderL@Feb 18 2005, 11:25 PM
    No, because of the place and mass of Jupiter in our system.
    "Definitely" an oddball is a little strong. Beer King and Pringle, and that paper you linked to only propose that some systems formed differently from ours. It is definitely the case that we would not yet have detected a Jupiter mass planet in ANY system with a ten year orbit. The bias you speak of is a little suspect.

    That being said, I do think it is likely that there is quite a variety of ways that planetary systems form, and that we were formed in one of them. Is it a rare one? Observations will tell us this century, but don&#39;t hold your breath waiting.
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    "Definitely" an oddball is a little strong.
    Yes, it isn&#39;t what the authors conclude. As I said, that was my opinion.

    It is definitely the case that we would not yet have detected a Jupiter mass planet in ANY system with a ten year orbit
    Wrong, there are planets detected with up to 5000+ days orbits, and 0.78 Jupiter mass. So we can detect our system already.

    That being said, I do think it is likely that there is quite a variety of ways that planetary systems form, and that we were formed in one of them.
    There is the nebular (accretion) theory and a "catastrophic" theory (where a close-passing object tears chunks from the star, that forms into planets) and this second one is only viable for a minor fraction of planetary systems (maybe even only ours; it was proposed for our system to explain all the oddities). So what varieties of ways are you thinking of?

    Is it a rare one?
    I say yes, based on current knowledge, it wouldn&#39;t hurt to devise models that include all current information, and not wait several decades to see if the current planetary model is correct. So, whenever someone proposes a different model than the nebular theory, I&#39;m interested.

    Cheers.

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    If they can find a Pluto sized plnet so far away, why can&#39;t they find Niribu?

    http://badastronomy.com/bad/misc/planetx/index.html

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    Originally posted by antoniseb@Feb 18 2005, 07:25 PM
    We are probably ten to twenty years away from having the instruments needed to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars.
    Do you figure we&#39;ll ever be a to get an image of them, or just the facts of evidence that points to them?

    Would stop my heart to see a picture of a fuzzy blue planet around another star...

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Z28Jerry@Feb 21 2005, 01:33 AM
    Would stop my heart to see a picture of a fuzzy blue planet around another star...
    I don&#39;t think you need to worry about something like that stopping your heart any time soon. It is reasonable to think that we&#39;ll be able to get spectra of terrestrial extra-solar planets within thirty years or so, and perhaps images before the end of the century. It really depends in the money we put into large scale interferometry instruments.
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