Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA's New Telescope Finds Exoplanet Atmosphere

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the shhh-they're-sleeping dept.

Space 124

celticryan writes "NASA's new telescope has made a promising discovery. 'As NASA's first exoplanets mission, Kepler has made a dramatic entrance on the planet-hunting scene,' said Jon Morse, director of the Science Mission Directorate's Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. 'Detecting this planet's atmosphere in just the first 10 days of data is only a taste of things to come. The planet hunt is on!'"

cancel ×

124 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Deju Vu? (0, Offtopic)

basementman (1475159) | more than 4 years ago | (#28981969)

Re:Deju Vu? (3, Funny)

ksatyr (1118789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982047)

Shhhh, we're hunting pwanets, not wabbits.

Re:Deju Vu? (4, Informative)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982061)

no, wrong telescope, wrong story, wrong mission.

Re:Deju Vu? (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982361)

Yep, slashdot already featured coverage [slashdot.org] of the planet in question, although I guess discovering an atmosphere around it is new information..

lame (0, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#28981973)

They tell us "we've detected the atmosphere" but don't tell us what the atmosphere is made of. Nice.

Re:lame (5, Informative)

omega_dk (1090143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28981999)

There've been numerous measurements of this planet before. It was chosen because it's relatively well-studied for an exoplanet, so it was good to test the precision and accuracy of the sensors.

Re:lame (4, Funny)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982401)

I have to apologize. After reading the "smelloscope" tag under the summary, I could not help but hear the voice of Professor Farnsworth in my head while reading your post. For some reason, I can't read your post any other way now. I'm sure your post is well thought-out, and indeed informative, but I just can't take it seriously with that voice!

Re:lame (4, Funny)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982507)

That's ok. I'm reading your post as Leela.

Re:lame (0, Redundant)

complete loony (663508) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984659)

Shut up Fry. You can bite my shiny metal ass.

Re:lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28984871)

Shut up Fry. You can bite my shiny metal ass.

Oddly, your post is being read in Zoidberg's voice....

Re:lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982987)

I don't question your informativeness, but how is this relevant to the thread? Are you saying that the composition of the atmosphere is already known and not worth mentioning?

Re:lame (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982129)

Science proceeds one step at a time. When in 10 years we are able measure the composition, make sure you come up with something else you would like to know, and remember to make a sarcastic comment about it.

Re:lame (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982479)

They tell us "we've detected the atmosphere" but don't tell us what the atmosphere is made of. Nice.

This being slashdot, the authors assumed you would come to your own determination that the atmosphere was in fact some sort of gas and didn't feel the need to elaborate.

run CancelWiseassMode($me)

Re:lame (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 4 years ago | (#28986309)

I just assumed he read this part of the article:

Although this is already the highest precision ever obtained for an observation of this star, Kepler will be even more precise after analysis software being developed for the mission is completed.

And interpreted it to mean that they'd "know" what the atmosphere was composed of once they finished writing the software that would "interpret" the data.

But still, the article didn't talk about composition such as 80% nitrogen or anything. Granted, they might be able to determine that based on the signatures they can now graph, but it is a little misleading. Still cool tech, but misleading title.

Re:lame (1)

onto_dry_land (1346313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28985837)

Mod parent up, it is not a troll.

The headline says that they have detected the atmosphere, but the the actual article only claims that they have measured different temperatures on different sides of the planet. While that is a very impressive result, it is not at all what I would call detecting its atmosphere -- since the graphs in the article only show brightness it is not clear that surface is not made of cheese. The article does claim that it is a known gas planet, which I guess makes any temperature measurement of the planet a measurement of the temperature of its atmosphere, but the headline still sounds wrong. If I just measure the surface temperature of our moon I wouldn't claim to have detected regolith on the moon, even though we know from before that the moon surface is mostly regolith so technically I must have measured the temperature of the regolith.

I don't know if they did detect something more than what is stated in the article that actually has anything to do with the atmosphere. At the very least the atmosphere part of the headline needs some more explanation. A question seems very much in place.

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28981975)

In Soviet Russia, the atmosphere detects you!

And I welcome our new exoplanet overlords.

first planet (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28981977)

first planet posted on slashnet?

Hot Jupiter, yawn (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28981985)

The public's attention for exoplanets is already waning.

One day I expect Kepler to discover an Earth-like planet with an Earth-like atmosphere and the public won't even care. Getting funding to image the surface of that planet will be an uphill battle and even if the returned images show undoubted proof of intelligent life, people still won't care.

Can you imagine that?

Go The Fuck Away (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982025)

You're not impressing anyone with your retarded little act dipshit.

Re:Go The Fuck Away (2, Insightful)

feder (307335) | more than 4 years ago | (#28986289)

fuck you faggot (yeah i fed the troll, sue me)

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (5, Insightful)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982095)

I am not in any way affiliated with this or any other planet finding project, so I am "the public," and I certainly will care. I hope this happens in my lifetime. Imaging the surface of an exoplanet may be more of a challenge than finding an interesting one, given the distance. But I suppose you think no one anywhere cares about anything, the future will be worse than the past, and our society is heading downhill at even ever-increasing speed. People have thought that for thousands of years and we still get by, so I'm not worried. Bring on tomorrow.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982267)

So will I. But the rest of the world will see the coverage of such an event after the sports and the weather, if at all. If you think that's acceptable, fine, but I'd rather see what I can do to make sure it isn't the case.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28984599)

hi, i'm that tiny island outside america called "the rest of the world", you may recognise our flag, it's like yours, but on fire. We're all a lot less retarded than you so I wouldn't worry about it.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (2, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 4 years ago | (#28985165)

Sorry, people are stupid the world over. We certainly don't have a monopoly on populations largely comprised of morons.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

j-stroy (640921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983215)

Imaging the surface of an exoplanet may be more of a challenge than finding an interesting one, given the distance

I remember a proposal for an orbital pinhole camera space telescope. The imager satellite was quite a distance from the screen with the "pinhole" in it. It was said that it would be able to resolve weather patterns and any vegetation covers.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982097)


One day I expect Kepler to discover an Earth-like planet with an Earth-like atmosphere and the public won't even care. Getting funding to image the surface of that planet will be an uphill battle and even if the returned images show undoubted proof of intelligent life, people still won't care.

Sadly, I think you're right.

NASA will have to pay money to Big Media for a spot on a reality show. Two morbidly obese women will be mud wrestling... the camera pulls back and Paris Hilton is now in the foreground saying "Life on other planets is hot! Drink Red Bull!"

.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0, Offtopic)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982491)

Will she be naked?

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982611)

With exo-hooters.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982727)

Paris Hilton Naked - I hope not
  Yuck.....

Maybe you meant the two morbidly obese women???
Yuck! I hope not

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28985353)

Why does this make me think of idiocracy.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28985587)

Two morbidly obese women will be mud wrestling... .

Geez, I live in France and we don't have this broadcasted. I sometimes wish the local "cultural exception" be broken for such a luscious week-end...

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

onto_dry_land (1346313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28985887)

NASA doesn't have to pay Big Media for any spot. All they have to do is copy their candidate screening process. If people spend endless hours watching unstable crazy people do boring things in a boring house but won't watch stable people do cool stuff in zero g orbiting our planet, the solution looks simple. Bring the crazies to orbit, and everyone will watch NASA TV.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

Trailer Park Boy (825146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982123)

The public's attention for exoplanets is already waning.

One day I expect Kepler to discover an Earth-like planet with an Earth-like atmosphere and the public won't even care. Getting funding to image the surface of that planet will be an uphill battle and even if the returned images show undoubted proof of intelligent life, people still won't care.

Can you imagine that?

no

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982231)

The public's attention for exoplanets is already waning.

The public don't know what exoplanets are. They aren't interested in them at all.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982359)

Getting funding to image the surface of that planet will be an uphill battle and even if the returned images show undoubted proof of intelligent life, people still won't care.

No, no, no, the public will care, but a quarter of them will believe it was really shot on a soundstage in Nevada.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (4, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982621)

No, I really can't imagine that.

Imagine the headline "Life Discovered on Earth-like Planet 25 light years away". Your typical newspaper-reading/internet-news-scouring/cable-news-watching connected person will know of it immediately. They may not understand the details, they may not have followed the whole saga, but they'll know and they'll find it interesting, because its clear-cut, easy to understand, and impressive.

After that, the last connected folks will hear about it through discussion. "So did you hear about that planet they found with life?" makes a much better conversation than "So what about this weather?", yet is something you might say to someone in the elevator.

Think of how much the general public cared about the non-issue of re-classifying Pluto. Discovery of extra-terrestrial life is much more important and just as easy to understand, and is such a leap beyond our current knowledge. That's not say that it would be the existential, world-changing discovery that I believe proof of intelligent life would be, but people would care.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984563)

If Kepler does find a planet less than 100 light years away that is a rocky-crust planet with an atmospheric gas mix very close to that of Earth, it would be a HUGE breakthrough.

The reason is simple: it means we have found a planet that could just about support life as we know it--and it's possible that this discovered planet may have life that has evolved far beyond the microbial stage.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28984851)

Imagine the headline "Life Discovered on Earth-like Planet 25 light years away". Your typical newspaper-reading/internet-news-scouring/cable-news-watching connected person will know of it immediately. They may not understand the details, they may not have followed the whole saga, but they'll know and they'll find it interesting, because its clear-cut, easy to understand, and impressive.

Without decent pictures this story will not go far beyond the science pages. A graph showing distribution of elements isn't the most attention-grabbing shot I can think of.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

wdonnell (1614101) | more than 4 years ago | (#28986097)

I'm not so certain any of this is relevant. This discussion is apparently concerning the hypothetical that people won't care about an earth-like life-sustaining planet but the ironic part is that the said discussing disproves the point. Those involved in the conversation may take self-righteous stance saying people are stupid and dissociating themselves from that group but in the end it's simply masturbation. I hope everyone enjoys the climax.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

Important Remark (1604945) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982677)

OK, you have my attention, i'll bite: It seems that to the public, the only practical use of a telescope is to warn us that we are going to be hit by a very massiv object just in earths path. And even then it doesn't tell us what we should do about it. Why *should* the public care when we have an image of the surface of some remote exoplanet with life on it? Will it cure deseases? Will it improve our lives? And if so, has the money been spent wisely, or could we have archieved more benefits for mankind with the same amount by spending it on something else?

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982763)

Imagine you're living on an island in the pacific. You have a pretty good technology base but you've never seen a sailing ship before. You have fishing boats of course and you consider that maybe there might be other people out there over the horizon but you have no idea how to go farther than a few miles offshore. Imagine your people managed to make a telescope that could see over that horizon and saw a society that had similar technology to your own. Would you honestly sit and wait until they invented the sailing ship or would you get your best minds working on it? Think of the military implications.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

Important Remark (1604945) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983213)

If the population of this islands was short of coconuts, i would kick these telescope builders in their rear excremental organ to do something usefull for the island. If this planet has 6 billion people that cannot survive without burning fossil fuels, i would say the exoplanet can wait.
And don't underestimate the military implications of a good pile of coconuts!

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

AGMW (594303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983679)

... i would say the exoplanet can wait

Hmmmm. I guess some people are 'curious' and some aren't - luckily for the human race there are enough 'curious' folks out there that those 'stay-at-homers' can rely on others to do the _essential_ exploring for them! Without some people to push the boundaries we'd all still be living in caves in Africa!

At some point your island simply won't be big enough to grow enough coconuts to support the population and you'll be wishing someone was far-sighted (or maybe just "mad"!) enough to have gone looking to see what was over the horizon! If you're lucky you'll still have time and resources to be able to do it then, but chances are you simply won't have the funds available to go look because every last cent will be spent dividing up the last coconut so everyone get's their fair share!

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

Important Remark (1604945) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984065)

Ah, an exoplanet as essential exloring. Finding a way to sustain 6000000000 people on this planet when fuel is gone is for stay-at-homers because that doesn't qualify as curious? That qualifies as Proof by Insult.
As for the idea that pictures of exoplanets will solve any part of the problems we need solved here on earth.. I find that hard to believe. We are not speaking of breaking new frontiers here, we are just doing more of the same. Which is fine by itself, my point is just that for the general public it has very little to offer, and that is not because the general public just isn't smart enough to understand it.

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (4, Insightful)

mahmud (254877) | more than 4 years ago | (#28985903)

Sorry, but you are an idiot. The fact that we need more sustainable sources of fuels doesn't mean we should stop all research that is not "practical" here and now.

In fact, science is cheap, comparing to the lumps of money we waste on:
  • Wars
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Retarded causes like creationism
  • etc

Human Nature to Yawn (1)

Yergle143 (848772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983311)

Sure, but you can't blame the public too much for getting bored. I mean did you jump up with excitement with today's slashdot story about Sony's portable reader (truely would have been a wonder 30 years ago -- lines around the block) or were you like -- whatever... Science fiction is to blamed for making the future seem all spandex sexy and immediate and the bummer is that the laws of physics make the stars very far away. The first "Life" world will be a blip of oxygen where it's not supposed to be and maybe a funny pigment wavelength that can't be modeled. Then it will be time to send the probe at 0.1 c to go check it out -- now let's wait a hundred years to get close ups of that microbial ocean -- see how much we get bored doing that. I am hard at work myself creating a secret society where patient machines will do all the dog work...don't tell anyone. ---537

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28983695)

No not really, I think the question 'Are we alone?' quite lives in the public. People seem not to care but when the topic arises people are genuinely interested. If this isn't interesting enough then the first people on the moon weren't interesting either.

Think of the implications on for example religion (that really will be fun to watch).

Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (1)

BotnetZombie (1174935) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984301)

On the contrary, scientifically and/or philosophically minded people would care a lot, for obvious reasons. Fundamentally religious people would also care a lot, for different reasons. People belonging to neither group would not easily escape knowledge of such a discovery, due to heated arguments that are bound to follow between the two groups.

Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (4, Informative)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982111)

If you get a chance to look at TFA, you'll see a comparison between the light curve as captured by ground based observatories and by Kepler. Makes a pretty compelling statement for doing observations in space, no noise! (Actually there is noise but you have to really zoom into the data like they do on the Kepler web site).

Anyway, I've been following the Kepler program on their web site and have read of a couple of "reboots" where they had to put the spacecraft into safe mode. Anyone know if they've found/fixed the problem? It's not good to have a program specifically designed for 3+ years of non-stop continuous observation to have intermittent gaps in its observations!

It's amazing to think that within a few years we should know if there are plentiful earth sized planets in the "habitable zones" around stars! Extrapolating from today's news release, maybe we'll even know if they have atmospheres! (Does anyone know how much more difficult it would be to "see" an atmosphere around an earth sized planet as opposed to a "hot jupiter"?).

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982185)

Anyway, I've been following the Kepler program on their web site and have read of a couple of "reboots" where they had to put the spacecraft into safe mode. Anyone know if they've found/fixed the problem? It's not good to have a program specifically designed for 3+ years of non-stop continuous observation to have intermittent gaps in its observations!

NASA should have unticked the "apply updates automatically" those service packs are a killer.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982519)

No need, there's a giant three-fingered robotic arm on board.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28984797)

Let's hope Comcast doesn't throttle the updates :(

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982321)

Safe mode is safe.

From an operational standpoint you want to have lots of things which trigger safe mode. I don't think you should treat going to safe mode as a bad thing.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982513)

...intermittent gaps in its observations!

That's the CIA covering up the aliens looking back at us.

Who leaves Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (5, Informative)

Cabriel (803429) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982527)

Read here about the Reboot issue:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17565-kepler-spacecraft-sees-its-first-exoplanets.html


Quoting:
The prime suspects are energetic charged particles known as cosmic rays. Earth's atmosphere shields us from these particles' potentially dangerous effects, but they bombard spacecraft at a rate of thousands per second.

If a cosmic ray hits a vulnerable spot in Kepler's electronics, it could cause a voltage spike that mimics a request from ground controllers to reboot the spacecraft's computer. "It could be that the computer is just chugging along doing everything fine, and then a cosmic ray comes sailing through," Fanson says. "All of a sudden it thinks it's been asked to reset, so it resets."

Alternatively, cosmic rays could toggle chips in the computer's memory, making it misinterpret instructions. The reboots could also be caused by a bug in the software, or half a dozen other things, Fanson says. "There are many, many things you have to look at that could be causing it. These systems are very complex," he says.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984785)

Is Kepler in some sort of particularly vulnerable orbit?

Granted the electronics in Kepler are probably more sophisticated than many spaceborne systems, but I'd imagine the protections would have been planned to match.

I mean, we've been shielding spacecraft from Cosmic Rays for a LONG time, why would this suddenly be an issue? I don't hear of similar reboots in anything from Apollo to Cassini.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (2, Informative)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28985329)

Yes, Kepler is in an unusual orbit. [nasa.gov] It's not orbiting Earth, it's orbiting the Sun, although it's designed to stay close to the Earth over its mission lifetime. But it is only receiving partial protection by the Earth's magnetosphere. It's possible that it will be more vulnerable to single event upsets (SEUs) [wikipedia.org] as time goes on.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982541)

The mission has a number of safe mode days per year budgeted. It's hard to keep everything running when cosmic rays are raining down on your computer.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983613)

Thanks AC, didn't know that! Makes me feel a bit better.

Re:Impressive light curve! Kepler reboots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28984237)

I knew it! they bough china under spec'ed chips, without the required shielding.

What type of planet? (0, Redundant)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982121)

Class I, J, or T?

Re:What type of planet? (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982287)

classifies this planet as a "hot Jupiter." It is so close to its star, the planet is as hot as the glowing red heating element on a kitchen stove

Basically it is super big, super hot gas giant continually roasted by the nearby star. Speculating about the composition of its atmosphere or possible biosphere are therefore dashed.

Re:What type of planet? (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982309)

Class Y, or demon class.

Re:What type of planet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982743)

Notify us when they find a class M planet, other than the one we currently inhabit

That's no planet... (0, Offtopic)

johnthorensen (539527) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982133)

...it's a space st.

[NO CARRIER] (0)

johnthorensen (539527) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982143)

nt

Re:[NO CARRIER] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982313)

WTF is nt or n/t? Seriously.

Re:[NO CARRIER] (1)

lenkyl (1353049) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982345)

not telling

Re:[NO CARRIER] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28983439)

nice try

Re:[NO CARRIER] (2, Informative)

porl (932021) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982509)

no text.

usually means the entirety of the post is in the subject line, or sometimes used lazily as a 'me too!' post in reply to a request etc.

What's not atmosphere on this planet? (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982217)

With a day side temperature of more than 4300 degrees, I'm trying to think of what on the planet would not actually be flat out molten or even vaporized.

Re:What's not atmosphere on this planet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982717)

> I'm trying to think of what on the planet would not actually be flat out molten or even vaporized.

Probably very little, since the planet has been characterized as a gas giant larger than Jupiter. At great depth within the planet there may be solid material, since changes in temperature and pressure affect the stability of solids and liquids, but anything in the planet's uppermost layers is very likely just vapor.

It's also worth noting that in a gas giant any dense solids, like silicate rocks, would sink away from the surface until they reach isostatic equilibrium, presumably at considerable depth.

Re:What's not atmosphere on this planet? (0, Flamebait)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983261)

Your momma.

Re:What's not atmosphere on this planet? (1)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983263)

Its a gas giant. Everything is vaporized except for possible a very dense metal core.

Hunt is on? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982243)

Real hunters don't capture animals in just in photos. If we are amazingly lucky and find a planet mostly like earth in, say, 10 light years from here, current technology, economy, politics, human rights and so on will make them impossible to reach in the time of our lives (and probably next few generations, but only if we put our mind on that). Odds that have intelligence and an advanced enough technology just lower the chances, and increase a lot the average distance, so the time for a phone call.

In the other hand, knowing that will increase our understanding on how universe works, and that could well have applications here, if we want a result in the next (few?) years.

Reminds me... (0)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982297)

This reminds me of the first time I went fossil hunting. I found a trilobite by accident. I haven't found one since. This planet is a fluke until consistent results can be established. I wish them the best of luck.

Re:Reminds me... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982355)

This reminds me of the first time I went fossil hunting. I found a trilobite by accident. I haven't found one since. This planet is a fluke until consistent results can be established. I wish them the best of luck.

Lots of exoplanets [wikipedia.org] have been found.

Re:Reminds me... (2, Informative)

Mandelbrot-5 (471417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982375)

Well It is a good thing that planet hunters are better at finding things than you, seeing as they have found 358 extrasolar planets. From what I hear, it is much harder to observe the wobble of a star's red shift or see the wink of a star as a planet travels between us and it, than it is to break open a rock in a known trilobite bed.

Source http://exoplanet.eu/catalog.php [exoplanet.eu]

Re:Reminds me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982673)

Both are about not really knowing where to look. Just looking.

Re:Reminds me... (3, Informative)

ogre7299 (229737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982397)

That is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. It's a completely invalid comparison. The planet was already known to have a transiting exoplanet so it's not like it was dumb luck. As someone pointed out this verifies that everything on the spacecraft is working properly. To date, lots of transiting exoplanets have been found and it's not luck, it's statistics that tell us there will be more.

Re:Reminds me... (1)

lmckayjo (532783) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982411)

You might be right that this planet is a fluke, but I see absolutely no reason to imagine it is. A fluke is not just the first in a series but something unexpected or unlikely, and this is absolutely neither. Care to elaborate on your pessimism, or are you just trolling?

Re:Reminds me... (0)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982643)

Nope. Not trolling. I would have done that under AC. Perhaps "fluke" was the wrong term but a suitable substitute escapes me.

I am familiar with the technology and I do find it impressive. I just want to see consistent results before declaring it a complete success. Next week it could find a new exoplanet all on its own and be as successful as the Hubble. No one knows for a fact.

Re:Reminds me... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982761)

Guess what: other researchers have independently verified the existence of trilobites! You can rest easy now. Your declaration of success is eagerly awaited by all NASA engineers.

Re:Reminds me... (1)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983595)

This reminds me of the first time I went fossil hunting. I found a trilobite by accident.

If you go out fossil hunting and actually find a fossil, that's not an accident. Because you were deliberately looking for it, you see?

If you'd gone out shopping and found a fossil, that would be classified as an accident. I do hope this helps to clarify the situation.

Re:Reminds me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28985137)

What if you went shopping for fossils?

fossil.com

i know these aren't original thoughts (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982351)

but i wonder if anyone has made a study of this:

fruitful pressure/ temperature triple points to look for

for example, earth is the right temperature/ pressure for water to be a gas/ solid/ liquid all over

this allows for complex thermodynamic interflow and mixing and dynamicism, which can lead to life

additionally, water is polar, so unlike methane, for example, chemical interactions can be even more complex

additionally, water is a very common chemical in the universe

so what i'm getting at: other fruitful triple points out there of common, polar chemicals for us to look for?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_point [wikipedia.org]

for example one that comes to mind: ammonia. common, polar

but not carbon dioxide (not polar, so no complex chemistry probably)

and howabout something very exotic and improbable but imagination grabbing: say a possible life-evolving chemistry on a planet based on the complex interplay of liquid/ solid/ gaseous heavy metals

what i'm getting at: we should classify these triple points, based on elemental abundance/ observed concentrating trends in certain plantary belts, and look for these triple points specifically, to maximize our ability to find life

Re:i know these aren't original thoughts (1)

Random Walk (252043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983269)

Saturns' moon Titan is close to the methane triple point, which is one of the prime reasons scientists are very interested in studying it.

yeah but methane isn't polar (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984561)

so the chemistry there couldn't get very complex

so its most probably dead

now the triple point of ammonia on the other hand...

You Fai7 I't? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28982435)

words, don't Mget do and doing what

wow (1)

madcat2c (1292296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982679)

We live in amazing times. I cant imagine what we will be able to do in 100-200 years time. I hope we start to come together as a species and explore this amazing galaxy.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28985531)

In 100-200 years we will have nuked each other into oblivion. Nice try though...

I guess the way to approach this would be (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982799)

Hey Baby.. I guess that your not from around here?

now if we only could figure out (1)

postmortem (906676) | more than 4 years ago | (#28982817)

... whether there's any life on it. Not intelligent, but any kind.

Re:now if we only could figure out (1)

Random Walk (252043) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983325)

The existence of life can in principle be inferred from the composition of a planets' atmosphere, which could be determined spectroscopically. E.g. earths' atmosphere is oxygen-rich, which would not be possible without life (oxygen is agressive, and would disappear quickly by forming compounds with surface minerals, if it wasn't replenished by photosynthesis).

There is research on ways to do this, and on the kind of instruments that would be required. However, this research focuses on life as we know it, which requires water. 'Hot Jupiters' like this planet are much too hot, and most scientists would not seriously consider them candidates for any kind of life.

Sweet Picture (1)

KWarp (1556259) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983435)

I love the artist-rendered picture that accompanies the article. Anyone find the picture in a larger size?

Inefficient use of wealth (1)

mtthwbrnd (1608651) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983501)

Wealth would be better spent either helping humans on Earth or, if we must have a space program, finding ways to get people out there. No point in knowing something is there if we can't get to it.

Amazing (1)

tony7531 (1605921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28983975)

I often wonder not if, but when we'll make first contact. Watching Discovery channel a lot, I undertand we are discovering things in space at a faster rate than ever. Most of what we know about space we've learned in the last 40 years.

The beauty of a plotted curve (2, Informative)

Hazelfield (1557317) | more than 4 years ago | (#28984463)

While we're all thankful for the awe-inspiring images that the Hubble Space Telescope produces, I think in some regards these kinds of plots are just as cool. With these data points we can say more about this planet than the HST ever could. Neil deGrasse Tyson described this in a clever way:

And I simply say that gravity is as much a signature of something's existence as a direct photograph of it, we have many ways we can measure something is there. Just as you do if you live in a cabin in the woods, you come to learn what a bear footprint looks like very quickly, and if you see such a footprint outside one morning, you'll start looking for the bear that was once there. You're not going to say, "oh, I didn't see the bear, therefore it couldn't have existed."

That's how astronomy works. You're looking for bear prints in the vast space of the universe.

Wow (1)

Lcf34 (715209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28985603)

Already one after ten days... Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>