Stunning exoplanet find?

Ray McCarthy

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NASA Audio Briefing

Kepler Discoveries Update
22 July 2015: Noon EDT


The first exoplanet orbiting another star like our sun was discovered in 1995. Exoplanets, especially small Earth-size worlds, belonged within the realm of science fiction just 21 years ago. Today, and thousands of discoveries later, astronomers are on the cusp of finding something people have dreamed about for thousands of years -- another Earth.

The briefing participants are:

  • John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington
  • Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California
  • Jeff Coughlin, Kepler research scientist at SETI Institute in Mountain View, California
  • Didier Queloz, professor of astrophysics at Cambridge University, United Kingdom

More info when I get it!

Might be listed here later
http://www.nasa.gov/news/releases/latest/index.html

(I think about 5pm UK / Ireland/Portugal Time or 6pm Western Europe)
 
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Ray McCarthy

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While Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, its 385-day orbit is only 5 percent longer. The planet is 5 percent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the Sun. Kepler-452 is 6 billion years old, 1.5 billion years older than our sun, has the same temperature, and is 20 percent brighter and has a diameter 10 percent larger.

“We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment," said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who led the team that discovered Kepler-452b. "It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent 6 billion years in the habitable zone of its star; longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

Brian's Link:
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-kepler-mission-discovers-bigger-older-cousin-to-earth
Kepler-452b is 60 percent larger in diameter than Earth and is considered a super-Earth-size planet.
Gravity ought to be more, but not too high for a "visit", but it's complicated to calculate for two reasons. No doubt later there will be estimates of mass and surface gravity.


Stunning stuff.

Now we need a nice big new space telescope to do accurate Spectroscopic Analysis.

you might like to check out this recent news article... and have a whale of a time (excuse the pun)... http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/16/americas/possible-new-solar-system-new-jupiter/
Yes, I saw that one earlier, but spotting a Jupiter sized planet is easier!
 

Ray McCarthy

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BBC said:
The new world joins other exoplanets such as Kepler-186f with characteristics like Earth's.

Determining which is most Earth-like depends on the properties one considers. Kepler-186f, announced in 2014, is smaller than the new planet, but orbits a red dwarf star that is significantly cooler than our own.

Kepler-452b, however, orbits a parent star which belongs to the same class as the Sun: it is just 4% more massive and 10% brighter. Kepler-452b takes 385 days to complete a full circuit of this star, so its orbital period is 5% longer than Earth's.

The mass of Kepler-452b cannot be measured yet, so astronomers have to rely on models to estimate a range of possible masses, with the most likely being five times that of Earth. If it is rocky, the world would likely still have active volcanism and its gravity would be roughly twice that on our own planet.

The new world is included in a haul of 500 new possible planets sighted by the Kepler space telescope around distant stars.

Twelve of the new candidates are less than twice Earth's diameter, orbiting in the so-called habitable zone around their star.
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33641648

I did suggest that 60% more diameter wouldn't be an impossible amount of surface gravity. Avians might not be as plentiful and bipeds might not be as tall. If there are any of either.
 

Ray McCarthy

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The El Reg take on the press release
NASA boffins peering through the Kepler space telescope have just found an Earth-like planet capable of supporting life.

El Reg Reporter said:
"This is the closest thing we've yet found to another Earth," said Jon Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at NASA's Ames Research Center.
At a press conference on Thursday, NASA unveiled Kepler 452b, an alien world orbiting a star very similar to our Sun. The planet is said to be perfectly placed in its solar system to be habitable.
Specifically, 452b lies in what's called the Goldilocks Zone, which is the distance a planet needs to be from its star for liquid water to exist on its surface. Water is, of course, an essential building block of life as we know it.
Kepler 452b is circling a G-type star, which is similar to our Sun but a little older and bigger. The star is about 10 per cent bigger than ours, and about 20 per cent brighter. Kepler 452b orbits every 385 days compared to our 365.

The newly discovered planet is about five times larger [surface Area] than Earth, would have about twice the gravity, and NASA says there's a "better than even" chance that it's rocky like Earth. The atmosphere is thicker than ours and it's likely there is volcanic activity on the surface, NASA geologists estimate.

In 2017 NASA will launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, which will look for planets around stars closer to Earth.
 

Serendipity

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Yes, I saw that one earlier, but spotting a Jupiter sized planet is easier!

Totally agree... but just wanted to keep you good people entertained while you were all waiting sitting on the edges of your seats, that's all.

There's one slight hitch with Kepler 452b - it's 1,400 light years away. Any idea how we're going to get there?
 

BAYLOR

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Totally agree... but just wanted to keep you good people entertained while you were all waiting sitting on the edges of your seats, that's all.

There's one slight hitch with Kepler 452b - it's 1,400 light years away. Any idea how we're going to get there?

It could be a while before we get there .:D
 

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