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Youngest Exoplanet Discovered

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-just-a-baby dept.

Space 16

astroengine writes "We know that the planets in our solar system were born from a dusty disk surrounding the sun billions of years ago; wouldn't it be amazing if we could see another star system going through the birthing throes of this protoplanetary phase? Today, a team of astronomers using the awesome power of the twin 10-meter Keck Telescopes atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii, have announced just that. Meet "LkCa 15 b", the youngest proto(exo)planet ever observed."

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So she isn't legal? (0)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766490)

I take it she doesn't even fall under the rule of 'if there is grass on the field play ball?'

Re:So she isn't legal? (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766518)

Well our species isn't that old either so it's all legit as long as we're both underage.

Re:So she isn't legal? (0)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766988)

I take it she doesn't even fall under the rule of 'if there is grass on the field play ball?'

Question.... Do you know it's a 'she'?

One word. Aerosmith.

Re:So she isn't legal? (1)

Soralin (2437154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37770070)

Considering grass took over 4 billion years from formation to evolve here, you might be waiting a while.

Look for life! (3, Interesting)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766576)

Perhaps this is where SETI should be looking for life.

Not on the planet- but observing the planet.

Planet formation is bound to attract the interest of sentient life. Wouldn't be too unexpected if nearby there is sentient life that they have seen it too and have sent a probe.

If we had the technology- I bet we would send a probe there... so other sentient life might too.

Of course- if that probe is communicating back to the home-world, chances are any signal it sends back won't be pointing in our direction so we may not be able to intercept the communication anyway.

Re:Look for life! (2)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766616)

Maybe black obelisks?

Re:Look for life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37770214)

Or, if they were looking to make contact in that way, they'd send such a probe (a very LOUD probe) someplace where nothing should be. Sitting directly above the galactic core or something at a point where it can be seen from any point on the galactic plane.

Re:Look for life! (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 2 years ago | (#37773336)

Most life is sentient, it's how they find mates, find food and avoid danger. While finding any life would be impressive, it's sapient life that would really blow our minds.

Re:Look for life! (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37774388)

Interesting- thank you for the correction. I guess I wasn't aware of the true meaning of "sentient" , in its common usage it is [incorrectly] used as "sapient" is defined.

Technically though, I'm not sure that I'd agree that most life is sentient. Most "animal" life perhaps. Plants, bacteria, archaea, and fungi could not be considered sentient and they outnumber animals.

Please, consider the following (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37766652)

On the scale of time, development of planet (into something habitable) is an extremely long process compared to the observer's lifetime. We get very little more than a miniscule timeslice of what things were for a a very brief moment. Couple that with the fact that we not even getting a current, realtime view of said planet I wonder how useful any of the data is going to be.

Re:Please, consider the following (2)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767098)

On the scale of time, development of planet (into something habitable) is an extremely long process compared to the observer's lifetime. We get very little more than a miniscule timeslice of what things were for a a very brief moment. Couple that with the fact that we not even getting a current, realtime view of said planet I wonder how useful any of the data is going to be.

There are ways around such things, such as observing multiple planets at different stages of evolution and putting together the pieces. That is for example how we learn about the formation and evolution of star clusters, or the way stars evolve. You can't observe 1 star go through it's entire evolution, but there are lots of stars and you can piece it together. This is how much of astronomical science is typically done. We don't get it right first time every time either. That does not mean it is not worthwhile.

5 times younger? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37767146)

FTFA: "LkCa 15 b is the youngest planet ever found, about 5 times younger than the previous record holder," said astronomer Adam Kraus of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy.

WTF is 5 times younger? Does he mean 1/5 as old? At the moment the planet first started to form, was it infinitely times younger? You'd think a scientist would know better. [wsu.edu]

Re:5 times younger? (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767258)

Theres that, but theres also the missing words 'thus far' which should be in the headline.

Re:5 times younger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37768208)

Obviously that's implied by the very concept of finding something is constrained by time.

Re:5 times younger? (1)

ogre7299 (229737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37767944)

FTFA: "LkCa 15 b is the youngest planet ever found, about 5 times younger than the previous record holder," said astronomer Adam Kraus of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy.

WTF is 5 times younger? Does he mean 1/5 as old? At the moment the planet first started to form, was it infinitely times younger? You'd think a scientist would know better. [wsu.edu]

Picky picky, do you have anything intelligent to add or are you just going to argue semantics rather than acknowledge good science?

This is actually a very important discovery, the circumstellar disk surrounding the young star has been found to have a deficit of emission ~55 AU in radius. The cause of holes or gaps in proto-planetary disks has been a matter of intense debate in recent years, some people favor planets clearing gaps, others favor emission from the star causing the disk to evaporate. This seems to be clear evidence that planets are actually doing the gap opening and play a key role in the dissipation of disks around stars.

At least ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37770424)

... that's what IMDb [slashdot.org] is claiming.

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