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Kepler Sees Partial Exoplanetary Eclipse

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the peek-a-boo-from-light-years-away dept.

Science 35

New submitter CelestialScience writes "The heavens have aligned in a way never seen before, with two exoplanets overlapping as they cross their star. Teruyuki Hirano of the University of Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues used data from the Kepler space telescope to probe KOI-94, a star seemingly orbited by four planets. It seems that one planet candidate, KOI-94.03, passed in front of the star and then the innermost candidate, KOI-94.01, passed between the two. The phenomenon is so new it doesn't yet have a name, though suggestions include 'planet-planet eclipse,' 'double transit,' 'syzygy' and 'exosyzygy.'"

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First (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542411)

My first post is eclipsing all other attempts at first! Muahahahaaa!

Wouldn't it simply be 'occultation'? (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41542419)

Or 'multi-object occultation'?

Re:Wouldn't it simply be 'occultation'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542485)

double secret occultation

Re:Wouldn't it simply be 'occultation'? (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41542873)

Or 'multi-object occultation'?

Not really, since the star wasn't blocked from view (well, I'm assuming it wasn't, would need to be a really big planet for that to happen) by either planet, although the inner one may have been blocked by the outer, so it couldn't be an occultation. This would be a transit, since it is an apparently smaller body passing in front of a larger one, although the inner planet may be being occulted by the outer.

Since it is three bodies, though, we already have a term for this: syzygy. That is exactly what it is. Three celestial bodies in apparent alignment (although all Kepler observations use syzygies, since they rely on the Earth, planet, and star being in alignment).

Re:Wouldn't it simply be 'occultation'? (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 2 years ago | (#41547989)

Technically the Earth is not one of those objects because Kepler isn't even in orbit around the Earth, but rather in an Earth-Sun Lagrangian orbital position. That would be the trailing point, or L-5. Still, over the distances involved it might as well be the Earth.

I'd call it co-transit. (3, Interesting)

mmmmbeer (107215) | about 2 years ago | (#41542471)

Or perhaps multi-transit, for when more than two transit at the same time.

mulllll-teee-passs? (2)

jefe7777 (411081) | about 2 years ago | (#41543367)

Leeloo Dallas multipass.

Doesn't this happen every 5000 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542505)

Where is Lara Croft when you need her?

Are the planets inhabited? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542541)

"exosyzygy"?

I wonder if the planets ate inhabited by exozyzzyvas or exozyzzyzus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zyzzyva
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zyzzyzus

Kepler Sees Partial Exoplanetary Eclipse (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41542543)

"The phenomenon is so new it doesn't yet have a name"

Actually, I think this phenomenon is called "beginner's luck".

It isn't new (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41542555)

There's a photo on NASA's site from a probe on the other side of Saturn (and slightly above), with Earth transiting. I'd be surprised if none of the double transits in our own solar system have been photographed by one of our probes.

Re:It isn't new (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41542725)

I wasn't aware that Saturn was in a different solar system.

Re:It isn't new (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41543889)

Something is off with your calibaration. "in our own solar system" is right there, in the second sentence.

Re:It isn't new (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41545155)

The article says it's new because it's the first time this has happened in another solar system (TFS specifically says exoplanet). Mcgrew states this is not new because it's happened with Saturn. Hence my sarcastic remark.

Re:It isn't new (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#41545533)

I suppose I can flex a bit to get it :). Sorry for ruining the pun :P. I guess?

It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542563)

Why not just call it a planetary eclipse?

On names (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#41542651)

My vote is on "exosyzygy", simply because of how many points that would get you in Scrabble.

Re:On names (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41542937)

Alas, there are only 2 Y's in a Scrabble set.

Re:On names (1)

yotto (590067) | about 2 years ago | (#41543105)

That can be solved (albeit for less points) with a blank.

A bigger problem is that the word is 9 letters long, so not only do you need all the right tiles, but two of those letters already on the board with the right spacing.

Re:On names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543291)

That can be solved (albeit for less points) with a blank.

A bigger problem is that the word is 9 letters long, so not only do you need all the right tiles, but two of those letters already on the board with the right spacing.

"Ex" is a valid Scrabble word; so it seems this is feasible, if about as likely as a royal flush...

Re:On names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543131)

Alas, there are only 2 Y's in a Scrabble set.

And two blanks... so potentially 4 Ys

That's why PIZZAZZ is forever out of our reach.... damned Harvard wordsmiths!

Re:On names (1)

Randym (25779) | about 2 years ago | (#41556385)

'exosyzygy'

Best. Band. Name. Ever.

A Heinlein "Prediction" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542795)

In one of Robert Heinlein's classic "juvenile" novels ("Time for the Stars", I think), the ship arrives at a new star system and the astonomer onboard notes that the planets appear to be arranged per Bode's Law [wikipedia.org] . Now that the Kepler telescopeis finding multi-planet systems, I've been wondering whether or not any of them have that (or some similar) series of orbital spacings. I wouldn't expect them all to be like Sol System because different stars have different masses.

Anyway, I didn't know who to ask. Maybe someone here knows someone who knows someone who has been looking into it.

Double transit (2)

mbone (558574) | about 2 years ago | (#41542871)

First, it's a double transit.

Second, check out this double transit [nasa.gov] here in our solar system.

Re:Double transit (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41542921)

The double transit was visible only inside a narrow corridor a few hundred meters wide. And it was brief. The space station crosses in the Sun in a split second. Maruska knew when and where to look thanks to the predictions of Thomas Fly, an expert forecaster of ISS transits.

And that, right there, is why math(s) is cool.

Mercury/Venus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542925)

If Mercury ducked behind Venus wouldn't that be the same phenomenon but observable from Earth?

xyzzy (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 years ago | (#41543019)

No one's made the joke about planets aligning in an xyzzy pattern will instantly teleport us here?

Feeling old.

Double Eclipse! (1)

yotto (590067) | about 2 years ago | (#41543075)

What does it meeeeeeeean!?
 
/Yeah it's an old joke, but someone had to make it.

Re:Double Eclipse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41547019)

No.

They didn't.

Oh Oh I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543081)

Planet On Planet Action!

Schrödinger's cat is alive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41544241)

OT but even more interesting from same New Scientist.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22336-quantum-measurements-leave-schrodingers-cat-alive.html

Picture (0)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | about 2 years ago | (#41545875)

The fact that there are never any pictures of these, allegedly seen, exoplanets - but given the fact that the only result is some raw spectroscopy data can only warrant to be mainstream news to the guys who crunch numbers all day and get impression artists to turn it into something somebody without a Ph.D. in astronomy can understand. As a link to an Arxiv paper, to me this is completely uninteresting.

Re:Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41547079)

Are you an idiot? Is that your problem? You do seem to be an idiot.

Re:Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41548081)

That the post was automatically scored a zero by Slashdot before moderation should speak volumes about the quality of the post alone.

I really really really wanna (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41549869)

> 'syzygy' and 'exosyzygy.'"

Thanks a bunch, now I've got a Spice Girls track stuck in my head.

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