Wednesday, February 1, 2012

11 New Planetery Systems!!!

26 new planetary systems have been discovered and they have 26 confirmed planets!!  "These discoveries nearly double the number of verified Kepler planets and triple the number of stars known to have more than one planet that transits, or passes in front of, the star."(quoted from the article.)  This will help astronomers learn more about how planets are created. Their orbits are different, they very in between 6-143 days, so that means that they are closer to their star, in fact all of them are closer to their star than Venus it to ours. "Prior to the Kepler mission, we knew of perhaps 500 exoplanets across the whole sky. Now, in just two years staring at a patch of sky not much bigger than your fist, Kepler has discovered more than 60 planets and more than 2,300 planet candidates. This tells us that our galaxy is positively loaded with planets of all sizes and orbits." this was said by Doug Hudgins. Because of all the gravitational pulling going on between all the planets, it causes some of their orbiting speed to accelerate, while it causes other to decelerate. Also what is very interesting (quoting from the article) is that "Five of the systems contain a pair of planets where the inner planet orbits the star twice during each orbit of the outer planet. Four of the systems contain a pairing where the outer planet circles the star twice for every three times the inner planet orbits its star." Also according to Jason Steffen he said "These configurations help to amplify the gravitational interactions between the planets, similar to how my sons kick their legs on a swing at the right time to go higher," that I think is a great analogy about the swing and the kicking of the legs at the RIGHT time to go higher each time. 

I think this article is really interesting becuase it just goes to show how much we have developed in this region of study. Look at around the time of Galileo, we were still working on discovering all the planets in OUR own solar system, and now we are at solar systems and planets and stars way beyond our own. We are also not only looking at the large things we are looking at light and air and atmospheres and water and heat and cold and distance and rotation and gravity and so much more. And go back around to Columbus time, we even once though the world was flat. Just look at then and now, big difference right? And this article just made me so much more aware of our development in this field, and how we will go even farther. To us, the planets, and the future!!!   

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