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Kepler craft reports apparent planetary bonanza
#1
Kepler craft reports apparent planetary bonanza

Quote:Surveying thousands of stars for telltale twinkles that signal the passage of an orbiting planet, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has discovered a whopping 706 candidate planets beyond the solar system. If confirmed, that motherlode would boost the number of known extrasolar planets, now estimated at 460, to well over a thousand.

The trove, announced June 15, includes evidence of five stars that have full-fledged planetary systems. These exoplanet systems, if verified, would be the first known in which each planet creates a minieclipse as it transits, or passes in front, of its parent star. The amount of dimming and the duration of a transit offer information about planets, including their size, that cannot be gleaned by less direct methods of detection.

A team including Kepler lead scientist William Borucki of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., has posted the findings online (at lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1006.2799 and at lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1006.2763) at arXiv.org. The discoveries were made by analyzing Kepler’s first few months of data, recorded in the spring of 2009 when the telescope examined 156,000 stars.

Wow, this will be sweet news when it's confirmed. Yes
I aim to misbehave.
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#2
Even if half of those turn out to be real, it's still good news. Smile
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#3
This is cool. the potenial discovery here is that most if not all stars have planets orbiting them.
When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not.
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#4
Looks like it isn't quite true...

Quote:Despite overzealous news headlines this week, NASA's Kepler spacecraft has not indentified more than 100 Earth-like planets in the galaxy.

The planet-hunting telescope, launched in April 2009, has so far confirmed only five alien planets beyond the solar system, mission scientists told SPACE.com.

The erroneous reports of new planets were generated in response to a recent videotaped speech Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov gave at a TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) conference in July.
T'Pol: I am not old, I will only be 66 years old on my next birthday.
Trip: I can't believe you told me that.
T'Pol: You accused me of being old.
-Star Trek: Enterprise 3-24, "Zero Hour"
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#5
Hmmm... guess it was too good to be true. Sad Maybe we'll have to wait several more years.
I aim to misbehave.
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#6
I bet Kepler will find alot of planets but that it'll take a good several years for them to be spotted and confirmed to be planets.
Insert colorful quote here
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