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Richest Planetary System Discovered With 7 Planets

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the hope-they-have-roddenberries dept.

Space 245

eldavojohn writes "The European Southern Observatory has announced that with the aid of their 190 HARPS measurements they have found the solar system with the most planets yet. Furthermore they claim 'This remarkable discovery also highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet research: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets. Studies of planetary motions in the new system reveal complex gravitational interactions between the planets and give us insights into the long-term evolution of the system.' The star is HD 10180, located 127 light-years away in the southern constellation of Hydrus, that boasts at least five planets (with two more expected) that have the equivalent of our own Titius–Bode law (their orbits follow a regular pattern). Their survey of stars also helped reinforce the correlation 'between the mass of a planetary system and the mass and chemical content of its host star. All very massive planetary systems are found around massive and metal-rich stars, while the four lowest-mass systems are found around lower-mass and metal-poor stars.' While we won't be making a 127 light-year journey anytime soon, the list of candidates for systems of interest grows longer."

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Richest? (3, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361416)

At seven planets, I'm reasonably sure this qualifies as the *second* richest planetary system we're aware of.

Re:Richest? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361466)

We only have one more in our own, and we're killing the earth, our planet don't even contain half of the ressources it took billions of year to produce.

Re:Richest? (4, Insightful)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361942)

All of that stuff's actually still here, except for the couple tons of metal that we sent to other planets.

Re:Richest? (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362266)

We also receive material from space on a regular basis in the form of meteorites. I don't know if that balances us out or if there's a net gain/loss.

Re:Richest? (4, Funny)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362084)

Our planet will shake us off easily and life will simply continue. There'll always be prokaryotes, cockroaches and RIAA lawyers to reboot evolution. This planet has actually seen a whole lot worse than what we're doing to it.

Re:Richest? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362860)

I must disagree with your conclusion based on your premises. If the human race has spawned RIAA lawyers which will live on and evolve after humanity is gone, I think we've left the world a much worse place with our presence.

Re:Richest? (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362862)

I for one welcome our new RIAA Over...erp..excuse me. I just threw up a little...

Re:Richest? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362134)

Depends on the resource. Sure maybe half the rock oil is gone, but not half the copper, gold, iron, lead, methane, carbon, uranium, etc.

So how exactly has the planet lost half it's resources?

Re:Richest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362748)

Yea because uranium is fucking necessary to life.

Re:Richest? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362752)

So how exactly has the planet lost half it's resources?

Seems there's no shortage of apostrophes...

Re:Richest? (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361474)

Yea, I was about to say... if they think that's remarkable, boy have I got something to show them.

Re:Richest? (5, Funny)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361494)

Yeah, we've got a full two more planets than...oh wait...

[tears up]

Re:Richest? (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362070)

In fact the HD 10180'ar system used to be called "solar system" but after a few controversial events it ended up losing 2 planets and after a > it relocated 127 light years "north".

Re:Richest? (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362088)

In fact the HD 10180'ar system used to be called "solar system" but after a few controversial events it ended up losing 2 planets and after a [insert absurd science fiction cosmic event] it relocated 127 light years "north".

And still, /. obligatory "Preview" doesn't help.

Re:Richest? (5, Informative)

city (1189205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362228)

4 years ago [wired.com] today we lost her... anniversarys are hard.

Re:Richest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361566)

That is a planetary system because it orbits a star. Our system orbits the sun.

or

With the US deficit as high as it is I'm sure we're not the richest.

or

Thats only until they reclassify a few more of ours... Mercury is a Type II Quazi-Dwarf Post-collapse Proto-planet.
Juipter is a failed Class N star so that doesn't count. Earth.. thats about to get swallowed up in a LHC created singulatiry so...

Re:Richest? (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361652)

Careful, or they may decide Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are all "not planets" anymore, too...
Then, where will we be?

--Stak

Re:Richest? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361822)

Are they not already called dwarf planets.

Just like our sun is a dwarf star.

Re:Richest? (2, Funny)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361758)

At seven planets, I'm reasonably sure this qualifies as the *second* richest planetary system we're aware of.

No no no, you're thinking the wrong way. They've found Magrathea!

Re:Richest? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361762)

One of the planets detected has 1.4 times the mass of the Earth, making it the smallest exoplanet detected yet. Wanna bet on this system having at least one more less massive and currently undetectable planet?

Re:Richest? (2, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362930)

Not likely given this 1.4 mass planet is one of the two 'missing' planets, and the other is a gas giant with 65 Earth masses. Still an exciting discovery:

From TFA:

“We also have good reasons to believe that two other planets are present,” says Lovis. One would be a Saturn-like planet (with a minimum mass of 65 Earth masses) orbiting in 2200 days. The other would be the least massive exoplanet ever discovered, with a mass of about 1.4 times that of the Earth. It is very close to its host star, at just 2 percent of the Earth–Sun distance. One “year” on this planet would last only 1.18 Earth-days.

Re:Richest? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361794)

That was true until the subprime mortgage fiasco

Don't start planning that vacation just yet (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361456)

For everyone here who has seen a lot of science fiction movies or lived in a trailer park where hillbilly meth-heads are routinely abducted by little green men, you might want to keep in mind that 127 light years is a very long way--an almost unimaginable distance, in fact. Most people have absolutely no appreciation for interstellar distances in general (when I was a wee lad, for example, I thought that the next solar system began right at the edge of our own). Let's put it this way: our fastest craft take about 9 years or so to go from the Earth to Pluto. At that same speed, it would take about 125,000 years to reach our next door neighbor (Proxima Centauri). And that's a mere 4.2 light years away (right in our cosmic back yard).

So if you're planning a visit to this newly discovered system, you'd better pack for about a 4-million-year trip, one way.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (4, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361582)

Did you extrapolate Moore's Law in that calculation, Captain Obvious?

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (4, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361658)

I will when Moore's Law applies to propulsion.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (2, Funny)

rawler (1005089) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362252)

"The amount of electron-spitting components doubles in density every 18 months."

There you go. I call it Ulriks law. Spread the word.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (4, Funny)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362420)

So you're basing a 4 million year trip on current propulsion technology? Seems pretty archaic to me. I certainly hope that in 4 million years enough new ideas would come out that our ideas of propulsion would be long obsolete.

When I travel to distant systems, I plan on using some super cool technology that I will call Magnetic Focusing Expansion of Relative Space (MFERS for short). The idea is that we just generate a magnetic attraction between two distant points and turn the thing on. It should also have the benefit of shielding the craft from any inconvenient chunks of matter between A and B. Also, this is science. Science that I base entirely on facts that are not factual (yet). Propulsion is for cavemen. Think of this more like Propullsion.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (4, Informative)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362970)

It's funny that you should mention that. They are already developing new propulsion systems that no longer require solid rocket fuel. This one for instance can shorten the trip to mars to just about 3 months:

Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/support/researching/aspl/index.html [nasa.gov]

The Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory is developing a new type of rocket technology, the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket. This plasma rocket drive is not powered by conventional chemical reactions as todays rockets are, but by electrical energy that heats the propellant. The propellant is a plasma that reaches extreme temperatures 50,000 and above. Some scientists call this the fourth state of matter.

This new type of technology could dramatically shorten human transit times between planets (about 3 months to Mars). Not only will planetary missions be fast, but the plasma drive will propel robotic cargo missions with very large payloads (more than 100 tons to Mars). Trip times and payloads are major concerns when using conventional rockets.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361826)

Don't forget the Borg modifications along the way that will speed up the trip.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362188)

I always liked how Borg cubes could probably be efficient shapes for their purpose in the vacuum of space. Yet in the Star Trek universe there's a lot of sound traveling straight through the vacuum all the time.. this implies some sort of tangible medium, introducing friction.. which will smooth out those sharp corners and straight cube faces quite nicely at high impulse. I'll just keep waiting for the Borg bullet..

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362474)

Moore's Law does not apply here since funding for NASA has considerably dried up and we can't stop warmongering with other countries. Politicians don't understand that space travel is not just about conquest of territory (that's so 1400's), it's about humanity joining together to explore and advance our race. If we can't do that we'll never get off this rock and we are doomed to go the way of the dinosaur.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Cold hard reality (1536175) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362522)

Moore's law doesn't apply here regardless of funding. And it won't in microelectronics for much longer.

Rocketry reached something very close to current peak efficiency a few years after WWII, and there's no physical process in sight for improving it.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362768)

If only politicians were the only thing stopping that humanity thing from cooperating on all those great ideas. At least they surely aren't a reflection of said humanity, nope, no way.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362830)

If we can't do that we'll never get off this rock and we are doomed to go the way of the dinosaur.

We're going to turn into birds? Awesome - I always wanted to be a seagull!

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361598)

I think I will wait a few hundred years for drive technology to improve. Only chumps will get on the slow moving 4-million year ride. I should easily beat the early adopters.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361782)

Quantum entanglement-based teleportation will enable us to create robots, teleport them to far away lands, and then said robot will teleport back the video, sensor data, etc instantly as if it were a computer sitting on the floor next to you.

This robot will be controlled via our brains and will essentially be an extension of our cyborg bodies. It will keep us out of harm's way while also letting us feel like we're on the ground doing the exo-planet exploring ourselves.

And there will be snacks.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361936)

And communication into the past with not-yet-present robot, it seems?

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362004)

I've been found out!

But seriously, controlling external devices we are linked to seems like a far more plausible solution to long-term space exploration then figuring out how to manage and maintain our extremely space-unfriendly bodies for ungodly amounts of time.

That's not to say there wouldn't be exo-planet colonization. Just that most of the exploring would be done via proxy and snack bribes.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362136)

Well, yes - but on the local scale. Like teleoperation of nearby semi-autonomous (doing many tedious & routine tasks by themselves, sometimes requiring direct input) fleet of robots, or some decently autonomous ones within system.

Full autonomy for interstellar.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (2, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362020)

Don't know if you're being serious or not, so I'll be as succinct as possible. The fastest that a message can be sent to or from anywhere is the speed of light, which might be fast enough for you to waldo a robot on the other side of the planet, but even going out as far as the moon would be a frustrating experience, asking your robot arm to move and it doesn't respond for a few seconds. Sending information (or a physical object obviously) faster than the speed of light leads to violations of causality, which every experiment and human experience today has indicated isn't how the world works.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (3, Interesting)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362178)

I'm being snark-serious. What I wrote is clearly a fantasy that flaunts our current knowledge about how the universe works.

I think it's only a matter of time before a lot of previously held ideas about light, matter, gravity, etc are going to have to be heavily rethought. The emergence principal has been rearing it's ugly head quite a bit recently in unexpected places and it's possible that the speed of light is an emergent property of the universe, not a hard or set one.

It's just a hunch, not science, and will likely be wrong but who cares. It's a comment board and I can dream of all the quantum proxy robots I like!

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362212)

But.. but.. what about subspace!? Folding space! Wormholes! The prophets of Bajor will be miffed indeed by your blasphemous remarks!

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362954)

I have a seriously hard time understanding how going faster-than-light could violate causality. If you go faster than sound and arrive at a location before the sound of your engines does, it doesn't mean no one can interact with you until they hear you coming. Light should work the same way: event A happens at a given time and the light reporting that event begins spreading out. Observer B is located one light year from event A's location and starts moving at twice the speed of light towards A. B reaches A six months later, and flew right through the light reporting A's activity at about the 3/4 mark. When B arrives, it should be six months in the future after A happened.

Just seems like common sense to me.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

B4light (1144317) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362032)

And we'll all live in little beds in huge skyscrapers where we never have to wake up because food and water is being pushed into us while waste is being extracted. In fact, forget the other planets, we'll have virtual reality already

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362498)

Quantum entanglement-based teleportation will enable us to create robots, teleport them to far away lands, and then said robot will teleport back the video, sensor data, etc instantly as if it were a computer sitting on the floor next to you.

Is that before or after we send John Travolta to teleport the giant poison-gas-carriers to depopulate all the "animals" from the "client" planet? Or do we fire AGMs at their home-trees? I guess it depends on if the natives are tall & blue, I suppose.

Interstellar travel is hard!

Strat

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362982)

Ugh. Avatar hasn't even crossed my mind. I was thinking more like Terminator meets Snow Crash meets Star Trek.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361644)

As far as i remember, homo sapiens is about 200.000 years old.
Even assumnig that the technology was no problem, I wonder if we would survive such a trip, both on earth and on the ship, and how different we'd be when we arrived.
I think it would be fair to assume, that those in the ship evolved quite differently than those on the planet.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361790)

Please also remember to remind those SciFi / History Channel's The Universe idiots out there that us humans are quite dumb.
We're so dumb that we have yet to find a way to leave our own planet and safely travel to others. We have yet to figure out most of
how things work. We're at the stage of having a basic understanding of what we're made of. There might be species out there who are
a few million years older than us. A species who has had a few million years to think about how to travel vast distances might have
figured it out. They might have also figured out a way to generate the massive amounts of power that are probably needed and a way
to protect their crew for the journeys that might take a few hundred years (not the 125,000 years you calculated by ignoring time
dilation). Just because humans are too dumb to do something doesn't mean it cant be done.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Pinball Wizard (161942) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361842)

Oh yeah?

What about wormholes? Duh.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361850)

Whew! And here I was packing my bags. I'm so glad that, after RTFA and understanding the discovery of a solar system based based only on readings of gravitational interactions, that someone finally cleared the room and explained what a light year is.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361872)

Ya know, there is always someone who has to poop all over everything. These are the same people how are always screaming "impossible" until someone does it, then they scream "Oh, sure. That's easy. I could have done that!" How gives a flying fig how far away they are? It's still awesome.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361966)

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (2, Interesting)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361900)

Its really too bad they partially debunked the guy that proved that the light speed limit was little more than a myth. I'm hoping for new evidence to back up a non-existance of a light speed barrier.

Theoretically though, if you could somehow make an engine constantly add thrust and never plateau due to relativity(where max speed would be the maximum exit speed of the particles being used for propulsion) you could exceed light speed.

I really think we need a lab somewhere in space. Something along the terms of the Jump Zero station from the Mass Effect universe where we can experiment in space without too much worry. The current situation means it isn't even possible for a raw space test, there are always fairly significant forces acting on whatever you are doing as long as you are within the solar system. Getting into semi-deep empty space for some experiments may open a lot of doors.

To conclude: Damn you relativity! DAMN YOU TO HELL! **sob**

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361988)

...--an almost unimaginable distance..

It bogggles me how someone judges between imaginable or not. Same thing for that "almost".

But indeed it adds a lot to the information.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (3, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362024)

you might want to keep in mind that 127 light years is a very long way--an almost unimaginable distance, in fact

I mean, you might think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts compared to space.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362050)

Pft, 4 million years isn't that long, is it?

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362096)

Well, it's less that 40 parsecs, and if you can do the Kessel run in less than 12....

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362142)

...you'd better pack for about a 4-million-year trip, one way.

Damn... now I'm gonna run out of clean underwear for sure!

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362152)

Perhaps, however, we can start planning the date when they might come see us...

My money's on 2057, personally...

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

idcard_1 (953648) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362160)

Two Words: Stargate Universe!

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (0, Troll)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362230)

you might want to keep in mind that 127 light years is a very long way--an almost unimaginable distance, in fact.

Something an old American would say. Everyone without gray knows very well how geosync is about half a second away or about a second roundtrip. 127 lightyears is 127 years at lightspeed. As the old saying goes, in the USA people think 127 years is a long time ago, whereas in Europe they think .... blah blah blah.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362482)

It is almost unimaginable? So you can imagine it or think that it is harder to imagine than the distance to proxima centauri? I can't properly imagine the distance to the moon, more than as an abstract thing, like in around 400k times a kilometer, or a bit more than a light-second, or a millon of "are we there yet?" during the road trip. But if that qualify as imagining the distance, then worth the same as imagining the distance the border of the visible universe.

Re:Don't start planning that vacation just yet (2, Insightful)

jonfr (888673) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362542)

In reality, 127 light years is not that far away. The most distance objects that we see are close to 13.4 billion light years away from Earth.

We are seeing the system as it was 127 years ago. So it is a stable system, with planets in stable orbits. The question if there is life there or any planet in size range of the Earth are different questions, and require a different method to figure out.

This discovery however shows that out solar system is not the only solar system out there with more plants then two to three as have been discovered around other stars before this discovery.

the richest? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361468)

Quick, tax it!

Re:the richest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362166)

Ignore the liberal! Exploit the riches of this new system in the name of humanity! Think of the children, blah blah blah

How funny (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361538)

NASA announces that they have big news on Kepler WRT planets, and now EU decides to quickly make an announcement. Ah, the ability to have the big announcements are always so important.

Re:How funny (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362234)

How did EU suddenly get involved with European Southern Observatory?...

(plus generally, healthy competition is nice & there's a lot of crossparticipation in many projects anyway)

Re:How funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362598)

Re:How funny (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362806)

Yeah, if only all of those 14 actually were EU nations...

Re:How funny (1)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362870)

Hey, if the US and EU want to keep 1-upping each other, power to 'em. A new Space Race would be welcome change from all the war and debauchery.

7 Planets? Pff... (5, Funny)

spike2131 (468840) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361608)

I know of a solar system that has 8 planets. Used to have 9.

Re:7 Planets? Pff... (2, Funny)

belthize (990217) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361906)

I think they're limiting it to real solar systems, Alderaan doesn't count.

Re:7 Planets? Pff... (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362100)

I read of one planet in the seventh dimension got used as a ball in a game of intergalactic bar billiards. Got potted straight into a black hole, killed ten billion people. Only scored thirty points, too.

Re:7 Planets? Pff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362128)

Yeah, it's a real shame that the Vogon construction fleet had to demolish Earth, but atleast we now have that intergalactic highway.

Pics or it didn't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361634)

Just sayin'.

GTFO (3, Insightful)

Smelly Jeffrey (583520) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361662)

"the solar system with the most planets yet"

There is only one Sol. There can only be one System Sol. Anything else is a star system.

Re:GTFO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362066)

No, pedantic moron. Solar means star. They are ALL solar systems.

Re:GTFO (2, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362300)

Solar does not mean star. I don't know who taught you that, but they are wrong. Solar means The Sun (and is extrapolated to incorporate everything directly influenced by The Sun). The Sun (Also known as Sol) is the only one known as THE Sun and thus we call it THE Solar system.

Only rarely does someone innacurately call another star A sun, because its actually a star, and not THE sun. You'll notice they even said in the summary

The star is HD 10180, located 127 light-years away...

They didn't say "The sun is HD 10180..."

So, to review, there is only one The Sun, AKA Sol, and the system of planets around it is known as The Solar System. Everything else is a star, and thus should be a star system. You could say they have discovered a star system, known as the HD 10180 system, which includes 7 planets.

Jeffrey, regardless of how much he smells, is quite correct in the astrological terminology.

Re:GTFO (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362168)

"the solar system with the most planets yet"

There is only one Sol. There can only be one System Sol. Anything else is a star system.

Isn't that kind of like saying the only Lindsey is Lohan?

Re:GTFO (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362934)

It's more like saying the only BobMcD is 601576.

Any time Sun or Sol (or Solar) is used to reference anything other than the star that Earth orbits is kind of like a misuse of the name, like saying ALL Lindseys are Lohans.

case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362226)

Perhaps there is only one "Solar system," but there are plenty of other "solar systems."

Can you spot the difference?

3D map? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361704)

Does anyone know a site which visualizes all the extra solar planets in something like a cool rotating, zoomable, star trek like map?

Would really like to start planning my galactic empire now. Or just stare at it in wonder what future generations might discover.

Re:3D map? (1)

darien.train (1752510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362470)

Does anyone know a site which visualizes all the extra solar planets in something like a cool rotating, zoomable, star trek like map?

MS's WorldWide Telescope is cool too. It also has a Mars map that's fun.

More importantly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361778)

...Class M planet, Spock?

HD 10180 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33361876)

Is that star HD 10180i, or HD 10180p?

What's that name again? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361954)

Am I the only one who first read that as "The star is HD 1080".

To put this in some perspective (2, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#33361986)

It would require a radio telescope with a 1 Km dish (or many with equal collecting area as well as comparable resolving power) to be able to detect an Earth-sized planet 1 AU from its sun at a distance of 100 LY from Earth at a resolution of a single pixel. (Information courtesy of the director of the SETI Institute during an on-site lecture at NASA.) This is 127 LY away and some of the planets are closer to their sun still. The current proposal for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope has it distributed across continents - boosting the resolving power - but the collecting area might still be too feeble to directly observe a whole lot.

(The proposal would likely need to be upgraded to a Square Mile Array or larger before you could do much in the way of direct observation. The SKA project has been painfully slow to advance and, frankly, upgrading it to the size necessary to actually look at Earth-sized alien worlds at that kind of distance just isn't going to happen. It's unclear to me if SKA as it stands will ever really happen.)

impending Thursday announcement from NASA-Kepler (2, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362008)

The rumor is they found some rather complex systems with the Kepler space-probe and will announce that on Aug 26. That probe stares at the same 150K patch of stars for years at a time looking for star-dimming indicative of transisting planet. Other phenomena cause dimming, so they examine the light curve carefully and look for periodic orbital repeats to establish planets. There were several hundred dimmings observed the first few months of operation. Probably many times that by now. Some of this dimming data has been released to the public already. Some is reserved for astronomers to double-check with other instruments.

Send a probe now if possible... (1)

johnhp (1807490) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362092)

We should send a probe now if possible. We may not live to see the results some 250 years later, but I'm sure that millions of people will thank us when they get their first close-up view of extrasolar planets.

If faster than light travel is never achieved, we'll eventually have an archeo-space exploration science, where future scientists must track and watch for signals from (then ancient) probes as they reach waypoints and destinations.

Re:Send a probe now if possible... (1)

32771 (906153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362728)

On the other hand you could build a gigantic telescope now and be able to spend less or at most equally as much and be able to watch information that is only 125 years old and that without waiting ~10000 years or more for the probe to arrive.

Anyway, I bet we aren't going to see a Probe mission for a long time. I would rather expect people to travel there and take what they get. This implies that we are actually able to support such a mission with relative ease or that we feel pressured into starting it.

Master of Orion 2 (4, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362124)

Does anyone else remember playing Master of Orion, and finding a planet, where the info-box says "Ultra rich, heavy-G".

I always thought that sounded like a nickname for a gangsta rapper.

Re:Master of Orion 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33362614)

The Anonymi require a gift of the DriedClexer Empire: Give us Class X Shield.

Re:Master of Orion 2 (2, Interesting)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362700)

One of my favorite games of all time. Boy did I ever play the crap out of that game. Even tried playing multi-player with a friend of mine over modem, lets just say it was not that great, his turns would take forever and I would just sit there waiting for him to click done or whatever the button was called.

Not interested (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362206)

Get back to me when they find a planet with Orion slave girls [cinematical.com] on it...

I know am no space nerd, but... (1)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362534)

I guess that this is because of all the games I played and the movies I watched... But I find it a bit surprising that there is such an uproar because they found a system with 7 planets. Shun me not, but, I personally thought that a system with 9 planets would be common. :/ But yeah, Iguess it's just my mediatic up-bringing...

Snow white and the seven dwafs? (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362566)

I bet the lawyers at Disney went into full battle mode when they heard the news of a bright white celestial object orbited by seven smaller ones.

Intelligent life? (1)

KnightBlade (1074408) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362590)

Wake me up when we find intelligent life. No, seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. I really really really want to see/meet alien life. I'm sick of the retarded humans. Domestic violence against one = jail, International violence (war) against millions = medals.

Using Trekkie Naming Convention... (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362796)

I wonder which planet of the seven is most like our own m-class planet type? Will it be: HD 10180 I, HD 10180 II, HD 10180 III, HD 10180 IV, HD 10180 V, HD 10180 VI or HD 10180 VII?

* runs off to see Star Trek *

"...the Solar System's eight planets..." (2, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#33362842)

Nine.

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