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Thursday, December 17, 2009

A new Super-Earth found in space





"A water-rich planet, named GJ 1214b (pictured above)  has been discovered orbiting  a red dwarf star 40 light-years from our Earth. Scientists have indicated that GJ 1214b is  the only known "Super-Earth" exoplanet which posseses  a confirmed atmosphere."

"Astronomically speaking, this [planet] is on our block," meaning it's in our cosmic neighborhood, said study leader David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Mass. "For perspective, our own TV signals have already passed beyond the distance of this star."

"The planet is about three times the size of Earth and about 6.5 times as massive. It is the second smallest planet discovered outside of our solar system to date, trailing behind only CoRoT-7b."

"Charbonneau's team thinks GJ 1214b is likely a water world with a solid center. In addition, the planet has a thick surrounding atmosphere of hydrogen and helium"

"Scientists speculate that the thick atmosphere of GJ 1214b creates a high pressure environment that keeps water on the surface in a liquid state."It really depends on how hot the planet is on the inside, and we don't know that," Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT, told SPACE.com. "I think this planet doesn't have liquid water because it is too hot on the inside. I think it goes from water ice, to a very exotic kind of water — a superfluid — and then it goes to vapor," added Seager, who just published a new eBook on exoplanets called "Is there Life Out There? The Search for Habitable Exoplanets."
(Seager was not involved in the new planet discovery.)


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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.