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Monday, October 19, 2009

32 new planets found

European astronomers have found at least 32 new planets, bringing the number of known planets outside our solar system to more than 400.
Six of the new planets discovered by the European Southern Observatory are less than 20 times the mass of Earth. The discovery increased the number of known super-Earths by 30 per cent.
At the extremes, two of the new planets are about five times the size of Earth, and one is up to five times larger than Jupiter. None of the new planets is in the habitable zone of a star.
Astronomer St├ęphane Udry of the University of Geneva announced the discovery at a conference Monday in Porto, Portugal. He said it supports the idea that planets are a common feature in the universe.
"I'm pretty confident that there are Earth-like planets everywhere," Udry said in a web-based news conference. "Nature doesn't like a vacuum. If there is space to put a planet there, there will be a planet there."
The discoveries came from an instrument known as HARPS (High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher), a spectrograph for the ESO 3.6-metre telescope in La Silla, Chile. The instrument detects planets indirectly by looking for tiny wobbles in a star's movements.
HARPS has found more than 75 planets outside the solar system, or exoplanets, including 24 of the 28 known super-Earths.
Most of the super-Earths were found in systems with multiple planets, up to five planets per system.

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.