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Kepler Sees Partial Exoplanetary Eclipse

Soulskill posted about a year and a half 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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35 comments

First (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41542411)

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

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

Picass0 (147474) | about a year and a half ago | (#41542419)

Or 'multi-object occultation'?

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

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41542485)

double secret occultation

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

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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.

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

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41542505)

Where is Lara Croft when you need her?

Are the planets inhabited? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41542725)

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

Re:It isn't new (1)

hazah (807503) | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41542563)

Why not just call it a planetary eclipse?

On names (4, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41542937)

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

Re:On names (1)

yotto (590067) | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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!

A Heinlein "Prediction" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41542925)

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

xyzzy (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41547019)

No.

They didn't.

Oh Oh I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41543081)

Planet On Planet Action!

Schrödinger's cat is alive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41547079)

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

Re:Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half 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 a year and a half ago | (#41549869)

> 'syzygy' and 'exosyzygy.'"

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

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