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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scientists find a new "temperate" exoplanet:CoRoT-9b

An artist's impression of  what CoRoT-9b looks like

"CoRoT-9b, a Jupiter-sized exoplanet thats orbits its star every 95 days, is the latest discovery of the CoRoT satellite, a project in which the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is a participant."

"This exoplanet stands out by virtue of its 'normality'. It is a very close approximation of the planets in our own solar system," says Professor Heike Rauer from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, who manages the German contribution to CoRoT."

"CoRoT-9b lies far away from our Solar System, some 1500 light-years from Earth, and orbits a star in the constellation of the Serpent. From the duration of its orbit, it would appear that the distance between planet and star is roughly the same as the distance separating Mercury from our Sun. CoRoT-9b is therefore an entirely normal planet - presumably a gaseous planet with relatively moderate temperatures anywhere from -20 degrees to 160 degrees Celsius, depending on whether or not it is shrouded in a highly reflective cloud layer."

To "date, we are aware of the existence of more than 400 planets outside our Solar System."

"Like our own giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, the planet is mostly made of hydrogen and helium, and it may contain up to 20 Earth masses of other elements, including water and rock at high temperatures and pressures."Source
Source of image:

"The presence of CoRoT-9b was detected by a space mission designed to find planets we cannot see from the ground."

CoRoT-9b has a temperate climate. "This is the first planet where it makes sense to apply the models developed for planets within our solar system," said Dr. Hans Deeg lead researcher.

"The planet was discovered by an international team of 60 astronomers and identified using the "transit" method.During its orbit of 95 days it passes in front of its central star, or transits, for about eight hours. "The transit method enables us to obtain much more information about it," explained Dr Deeg.
"We expect this to be a reference object for the next decade."

"We can derive its temperature as we know the distance to the central star and the type of central star it is."

"CoRoT-9b was spotted by the CoRoT satellite, which is a mission led by the French space agency, Centre National d'Études Spatiales. Its presence was then confirmed by observations from several telescopes from the European Southern Observatory, in Tenerife and at other sites."


"When Corot-9b is positioned between its star and Earth, some of the light from its star passes through the exoplanet’s atmosphere before continuing on to our planet."

"By studying this filtered starlight, astronomers may be able to determine what molecules make up Corot-9b’s atmosphere."

"If that’s the case, Corot-9b could become a “Rosetta stone” for exoplanet research, said study co-author Claire Moutou of the Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseilles in France, referring to the artifact that helped decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics."

How exciting it  is to hear that scientists have found a find a planet which is like the planets in our own universe!!!

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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.