Tag Archives | Kepler

Alien Life’s Threat To Society Discussed At 2013 Davos Forum

What are the global elite worried about? Apparently, the likely discovery of life in outer space sowing spiritual and existential unrest amongst the masses. The Huffington Post reports:

The WEF Global Risks report for 2013 states that “Given the pace of space exploration, it is increasingly conceivable that we may discover the existence of alien life or other planets that could support human life…in 10 years’ time.”

The risk factor of all of this comes with the long-term psychological and philosophical implications that will accompany the discovery of alien life.

“It will suggest that life is as natural and as ubiquitous a part of the universe as the stars and galaxies,” the report continues. “It fuel speculation about the existence of other intelligent beings and challenge many assumptions that underpin human philosophy and religion.” The WEF team “urges the global elite to prepare themselves and their nations for such a discovery.”

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Two Planets Found Sharing One Orbit

Two Planets in One OrbitIt really is a strange universe out there. Marcus Chown writes in New Scientist:

Buried in the flood of data from the Kepler telescope is a planetary system unlike any seen before. Two of its apparent planets share the same orbit around their star. If the discovery is confirmed, it would bolster a theory that Earth once shared its orbit with a Mars-sized body that later crashed into it, resulting in the moon’s formation.

The two planets are part of a four-planet system dubbed KOI-730. They circle their sun-like parent star every 9.8 days at exactly the same orbital distance, one permanently about 60 degrees ahead of the other. In the night sky of one planet, the other world must appear as a constant, blazing light, never fading or brightening.

Gravitational “sweet spots” make this possible. When one body (such as a planet) orbits a much more massive body (a star), there are two Lagrange points along the planet’s orbit where a third body can orbit stably.

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Kepler Telescope Spots ‘Styrofoam’ Planet

Rachel Courtland writes in New Scientist:

A giant planet with the density of Styrofoam is one of a clutch of new exoplanets discovered by NASA’s Kepler telescope. The planets are too hot to support life as we know it, but the discoveries, made during the telescope’s first few weeks of operation, suggest Kepler is on the right track to find Earth’s twins, researchers say.

More than 400 planets have now been found orbiting other stars, but Earth-sized planets — which may be the best habitats for life — have remained elusive.

NASA’s orbiting Kepler telescope is designed to find them. It has been scrutinising 100,000 stars since April 2009, searching for telltale dips in starlight created when planets pass in front of their host stars.

KeplerPlanets

During its first six weeks of observations, it found five new planets. All are giants — four are heavier than Jupiter and one is about as massive as Neptune.

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