Vermilion Voice
December 07, 2022, 09:07:29 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to the Vermilion Voice
 
  Home Help Search Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Login Register  

NASA's Kepler spacecraft discovers 'invisible world'

Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: NASA's Kepler spacecraft discovers 'invisible world'  (Read 21 times)
DejaVu
Hero Member
*****
Gender: Female
Posts: 2023



View Profile
Badges: (View All)
« on: September 08, 2011, 09:01:33 pm »

Kepler spacecraft discovers 'invisible world'
September 8, 2011

The "invisible" world Kepler-19c, seen in the foreground of this artist's conception, was discovered solely through its gravitational influence on the companion world Kepler-19b - the dot crossing the star's face. Kepler-19b is slightly more than twice the diameter of Earth, and is probably a "mini-Neptune." Nothing is known about Kepler-19c, other than that it exists. Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Usually, running five minutes late is a bad thing since you might lose your dinner reservation or miss out on tickets to the latest show. But when a planet runs five minutes late, astronomers get excited because it suggests that another world is nearby.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has spotted a planet that alternately runs late and early in its orbit because a second, "invisible" world is tugging on it. This is the first definite detection of a previously unknown planet using this method. No other technique could have found the unseen companion.

"This invisible planet makes itself known by its influence on the planet we can see," said astronomer Sarah Ballard of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). Ballard is lead author on the study, which has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

"It's like having someone play a prank on you by ringing your doorbell and running away. You know someone was there, even if you don't see them when you get outside," she added.

Both the seen and unseen worlds orbit the Sun-like star Kepler-19, which is located 650 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The 12th-magnitude star is well placed for viewing by backyard telescopes on September evenings.

Kepler locates planets by looking for a star that dims slightly as a planet transits the star, passing across the star's face from our point of view. Transits give one crucial piece of information - the planet's physical size. The greater the dip in light, the larger the planet relative to its star. However, the planet and star must line up exactly for us to see a transit.

The first planet, Kepler-19b, transits its star every 9 days and 7 hours. It orbits the star at a distance of 8.4 million miles, where it is heated to a temperature of about 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Kepler-19b has a diameter of 18,000 miles, making it slightly more than twice the size of Earth. It may resemble a "mini-Neptune," however its mass and composition remain unknown.

Continued here: http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-09-kepler-spacecraft-invisible-world.html
Report Spam   Logged

The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. --Allan Bloom

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter



Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy