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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: About this Forum Reply with quote

This forum is a discussion area for the article on Exoplanets by I. E. Lester. The article is here:


What did you think of the article? What thoughts did it prompt? Do you have any questions or comments you'd like to pose to the author? Would you like to see more articles of this kind in Darker Matter?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 8:56 pm    Post subject: Exoplanets Reply with quote

I learned a lot from this article, including what an exoplanet is! I didn't realize that so many had been discovered or how they did it. Btw, I still miss Pluto.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found myself wondering if the observation methods used might eventually yield information about the structure of the planets observed? Like maybe if they have water and therefore maybe an atmosphere?
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I.E. Lester

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets Reply with quote

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was used to observe the spectra of infrared light from two extrasolar planets (designated HD 209458 b and HD 189733 Ab). When you compare the light collected from the star when a planet is transiting to the light collected when the planet is behind the star from our perspective, any difference in the spectrum is due to the planet.

The scientists were hoping to see a spike in the spectra at 10 microns, which would have indicated the presence of water vapour in the planets' atmosphere. No such peak was found on either world.

Both these worlds are hot Jupiters (gas giants closer to their stars than Mercury is to the Sun) and scientists had expected hydrogen and oxygen to be present in the atmosphere, as the two elements are abundant in the atmospheres of the gas giants in our own system. So it could be that temperatures in these atmospheres are too high for compounds to form. Future observations of these and other extrasolar planet spectra are planned.

But the vast majority of extrasolar planets found so far are gas giants, the Holy Grail of this field of study is earthlike planets. In May 2004 NASA announced two separate missions that would comprise the Terrestrial Planet Finder project. The launches of these missions are expected between 2012 and 2015.
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I.E. Lester

PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:29 pm    Post subject: Water Detected on an Extra Solar Planet Reply with quote

April 11th 2007 - A team at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, USA, lead by Travis Barman has announced they have found evidence of water in the atmosphere of an HD 209458b - a "hot Jupiter" about 150 light years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus.
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I.E. Lester

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 3:56 pm    Post subject: Super Earth Discovered Reply with quote

Two weeks ago exoplanet research got a lot more interesting.

A team of astronomers from Grenoble University, working at the Eso 3.6m Telescope in Chile, have discovered a new world out there, one that is much more Earth-like than any previous exoplanet.

20.5 light years away from Earth is a star called Gliese 581. Orbiting this star are three planets, the middle of which, Gliese 581 c, is roughly half again a big as the Earth. It is the smallest exoplanet yet discovered.

That's not all that makes this interesting. Gliese 581 is a much smaller star than our Sun and gives off far less energy, but this new world is much closer to its parent star that we are to the Sun (it completes a full orbit in only 13 days). As a result scientists have estimated that it has a average surface temperature between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius.

Liquid water might exist on the surface of this world. And so this planet is a prime candidate in the future search for extra-terrestrial life.
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 12:06 pm    Post subject: Exoplanet Reply with quote

I'm so exited about this discovery. But there are couple of thinks that let us think. Astronomers are looking for inteligence life like us. But there are also micro-organism that growth on extreamly conditions. Like extremophiles. But before we planed to go to mars or the newly discovered planet there are many thinks we have to analyse before.

-Like people here are growth accostomed to the gravity on earth. thats mean if the gravity are twice the one on earth it could be devastating.
-ultraviolet rays from the sun to much for us can damage our skin
-probably if there are inteligence life on the earth like planet they maybe would't breath O2. Any other gas there could be a poison for human

I hoop to know more about this planet at least before I die hahaha

(Sorry for some grammar mistakes)
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