Finding new planets

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by James R, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I just helped to find a new planetary system! (And I'm quite excited about it!)

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    Australian volunteer citizen scientists have found four previously unknown planets orbiting a nearby star thanks to a crowd-sourcing project aired on the ABC's Stargazing Live.

    The four "Super Earth" planets are about double the size of Earth and are orbiting a star in the Aquarius constellation 600 light years away, said Dr Chris Lintott, the principal investigator of Zooniverse.
    ....
    The four discovered planets are most likely rocky and far too hot to support human life, Dr Lintott said.

    But he said the discovery was important scientifically because it was one of only one or two other systems he knew of where planets were packed together and it might tell astronomers more about how planets form.
    More here:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-...lanets-discovered-in-new-solar-system/8423142

    These four planets orbit a star similar to our Sun, but all four planets discovered in the system so far have orbits closer to their star than the orbit of the planet Mercury is to our Sun. But there are likely to be more planets orbiting the star further out. Astronomers will be examining the system more carefully in the coming months.

    ---

    If you'd like to get involved in this kind of project, and others, helping to analysing new scientific data and perhaps to be involved in a discovery like this yourself, here's a link:

    https://www.zooniverse.org/

    I figure the least I can do is spam the link.

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Great work by ABC and excellent that you got involved James.
    Alex
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    A bit more info:

    The planets are orbiting a Sun-like star called EPIC 245950175 which is 597 lightyears away from Earth in the constellation Aquarius. The planets are 1.98, 2.03, 2.74, 2.22 times larger than Earth respectively, and they only take between 3 and 13 days to orbit their star. These are what are known as "super-Earths". This system is now one of 74 known to have four or more planets.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I should also add that this project is ongoing, using new data from the Kepler spacecraft. There are still plenty more star systems to search for new exoplanets.

    At this time, 89% of the new data remains unexamined!
     
    danshawen likes this.
  8. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    Congratulations James! Very cool stuff.
     
  9. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Very good work indeed!
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah. I toyed around on zooniverse for a while.
     

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