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First 'Habitable Zone' Galactic Bulge Exoplanet Found

Soulskill posted 1 year,7 days | from the quick,-hide-behind-jupiter dept.

Space 48

astroengine writes "For the first time, astronomers have discovered a sun-like star playing host to a 'habitable zone' exoplanet located inside the Milky Way's galactic bulge — some 25,000 light-years distant — using a quirk of Einstein's general relativity. But don't go having dreams of exotic getaways to the glistening lights of the center of our galaxy; this exoplanet is a huge gas giant world, about five times the mass of Jupiter. However, there is something (potentially) very exciting about this new discovery. Like Jupiter, this newly discovered giant exoplanet may possess small satellites; exomoons that could have life-giving potential. 'Indeed, although the data do not explicitly show any signature of a companion to the Jupiter planet, this possibility is not ruled out,' the researchers write [arXiv]. 'The planet is apparently at the edge between the snow line and the habitable zone, but considering a potential greenhouse warming effect, the surface temperature of a possible companion (exomoon) can be suitable for habitability.'"

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Who needs greenhouse? (1)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139269)

Mightn't a primary of 5x Jovian mass radiate a significant amount of IR on its own? Reminds me of Trygve from A Deepness In The Sky...

Re:Who needs greenhouse? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139409)

The planet would likely have a massive radiation belt (similar to our gas giants) that would sterilize any moons. This is the same reason that inhabiting any of the Jovian or Saturnian moons is a pipe dream unless you go way below ground.

Re:Who needs greenhouse? (4, Funny)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139447)

The planet would likely have a massive radiation belt (similar to our gas giants) that would sterilize any moons

Sounds lovely. We should definitely send the politicians first.

Re:Who needs greenhouse? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45140053)

And then they find something odd like an iron-rich satellite with a magnetic field that can deflect the radiation, and also has it's core warmed by tidal forces. A high level of vulcanism drives the ambient temperature insteald of solar radiation. And since it's getting the majority of heat from the planet it orbits rather than the star, it's goldilocks zone is pushed outwards further than what typical models would suggest. Something like that just might have life where you wouldn't expect it.

Traveling to such a satellite orbiting a gas giant would still present problems. Anything getting from or to it alive would be a real bitch, because the radiation belt of the gas giant still must be crossed first.

Some people just aren't creative enough with these things. And then of the one system we're fairly sure of, only one of 3 planets in our star's habitable zone has life. But that has more to do with the planet than where it orbits the parent star.

Re:Who needs greenhouse? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,7 days | (#45144445)

Traveling to such a satellite orbiting a gas giant would still present problems. Anything getting from or to it alive would be a real bitch, because the radiation belt of the gas giant still must be crossed first.

One word: Cabbage. [medicalnewstoday.com]

Impeach Obama (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139455)

I agree that Obama must be impeached for shutting down the US Government. We the people stand by Ted Cruz and the Republicans as the majority cannot stand for these shameful acts any longer!

All this talk of Syria and chemical weapons disarmament is pointless. Each day goes by and we haven't started our peaceful military deployment is another wasted day.

Reopen the US Government immediately President Obama. Begin the war on chemical weapons. Do away with the unsightly notion of giving middle income earners the right to free health care. This absurdity cannot last.

Re:Impeach Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139483)

Incorrect. The Tea Party is a doomed minority, that will not be relevant after next year's mid terms. We just need to make it to that point without allowing them to kill the hostages.

Re:Impeach Obama (0, Offtopic)

bkmoore (1910118) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140219)

Nice troll, but what does the Tea Party have to do with a gas giant? Oh wait, now I understand.

Not news ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139951)

Women have been sitting on the 'Habitable Zone' of my Galactic Bulge which is about the same size as an Exoplanet .

Re:Who needs greenhouse? (1)

thomst (1640045) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140697)

I suspect that being located inside the galactic bulge means the radioactive background level alone is liable to be pretty darned inimical to life.

Re:Who needs greenhouse? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,7 days | (#45144429)

Mightn't a primary of 5x Jovian mass radiate a significant amount of IR on its own?

It's in the galactic bulge, wouldn't any planet or moon around any star in that part of the galaxy have horrible radiation?

Also, how far is MOA-2011-BLG-293Lb from Trantor?

Found in space... (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139275)

All these words are yours except for Europa. Oh, and this one about 25,000 light years away - you don't get that one either.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Re:Found in space... (1)

corbettw (214229) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140439)

All these words are yours except for Europa. Oh, and this one about 25,000 light years away - you don't get that one either.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Damn, and I really like how "Europa" sounds, too. Guess I'll have to make do with just plain old "Europe".

Re:Found in space... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45143277)

Well if did not spoke a barbarian language you would call Europe Europa.

EXO my ASSO! (4, Funny)

Baby Duck (176251) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139277)

Can we just call them $^@&ing planets and moons and not resort to EXOPLANETS and EXOMOONS?! Seriously? If we find a gas giant with large spherical rocks revolving around them, yet be within its atmosphere, we can call those f--kers ENDOMOONS. You didn't call the humongous bright thing an EXOSUN or EXOSTAR, so let's have some consistency here.

What next? "A long, long EXOTIME ago on an EXOPLANET far, far away"

Re: EXO my ASSO! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139497)

Sky down Luke. Get a grip. Latin prefixes need not stir the hormonal reservoirs of Titan with such strength as your basal ganglia muster. It's only a game, full of sound and fury, like the audio generated from the idle twiddling of engineers compelled to transmography the plasma wave recordings from Huygens-Cassini's pass near Saturn, signifying nothing.

All the world's not worth your rage.

Re: EXO my ASSO! (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140601)

Well aren't you just the smartest?

Re: EXO my ASSO! (2)

eclectro (227083) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141163)

All the world's not worth your rage.

Don't you mean EXORAGE?

Re:EXO my ASSO! (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139675)

"You didn't call the humongous bright thing an EXOSUN or EXOSTAR, so let's have some consistency here."

I don't, but astronomers do.

Re:EXO my ASSO! (1)

whargoul (932206) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140559)

You need a vacation. Colorado or Washington might be a good pick.

"We've discovered a new planet!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45140767)

"Is it Planet X?"
"Nah, it's not in this solar system."
"Should we call it a planet or something else?"

Re:EXO my ASSO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45142519)

It's ok to say "fuck" here, dude.

Does the moon comtain (2)

future assassin (639396) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139287)

forests and little fur-balls with spears?

That's no moon.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139381)

Oh dear, not Spaceballs. Well, there goes the neighborhood.

Re:Does the moon comtain (1)

#HashTagDeals (3395531) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139831)

I wish it did.

Re:Does the moon comtain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45140417)

It does contain Al Gore.

Intergalactic pickup line (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139351)

"Thats right baby, my galactic bulge is full of life"

Re: Intergalactic pickup line (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140131)

Dark matter must explain why it's bigger than it looks.

Re:Intergalactic pickup line (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | 1 year,7 days | (#45143049)

"Thats right baby, my galactic bulge is full of life"

You're pregnant?

"earthlike", "habitable zone" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139387)

Let me know when they find a planet worth a damn. i.e. one we can live on.

Habitable moon (1)

Horshu (2754893) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139435)

If we ever get to the moon, for the love of God, do NOT take off your helmets when going inside any structures, terraformed or not. And if you see any large cobra-worms, DON'T try to pet them. Show some common sense.

C'mon we know its (1)

Identita (1256932) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139521)

PANDORA! Cue blue people and fantastical music

Re:C'mon we know its (1)

Yaur (1069446) | 1 year,7 days | (#45139975)

Didn't Handsome Jack kill those guys off?

frikst stoP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45139809)

and/or distribute outreach are OpenBSD leader Theo Progress. Any members are NIIGER ASSOCIATION EVERY CHANCE I GOT Join GNAA (GAY

Black Hole (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140159)

Forget that it's an uninhabitable super gas planet. At 25k light years away, it's only 4k light years away from the four million solar mass black hole at the center of the galaxy. That's a next door neighbor that might bring down the value of your real estate.

Re:Black Hole (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140275)

Exoblack hole.

Re:Black Hole (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140443)

Why does everyone think that a Black Hole is a "giant vacuum cleaner in space?". Unless you are quite close a Black Hole has no special effect that would be distinguishable from a stellar cluster of equivalent mass. 4k light years away is pretty safe. Remember that gravity follows an inverse square law with distance.

ps. I'm a former member of the New Zealand-Japanese MOA group that set up the automated survey for finding such events (there are other surveys out there too - but this one has "our" name on it :) ).

Re:Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45140761)

Well there's X-ray emission from accretion onto the black hole that are probably non-negligible at that distance. Especially since orbits in the galactic bulge are more random rather than in a plane, so there's a much greater chance the planet will be in the direction of the emission.

Re:Black Hole (1)

deimtee (762122) | 1 year,7 days | (#45140973)

Four thousand light years is actually quite a long way.

Re:Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45141161)

not after the 25k lightyear wait to get there....

obvious name suggestion (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141287)

Yavin?

Come on, we were all thinking it.

'Habitable Zone' Bull***t (2)

mlauzon (818714) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141357)

Just because our planet is a certain distance away from the sun and supports life, doesn't mean that every planet has to be in the exact same place in other systems to support life. Also, there is no way that all life in the universe is going to be carbon, there are going to be silicon beings out there, and who knows, maybe even things more exotic!

Re:'Habitable Zone' Bull***t (2)

mcgrew (92797) | 1 year,7 days | (#45144685)

Oh, yeah, those scientists are SO stupid... sheesh.

Just because our planet is a certain distance away from the sun and supports life, doesn't mean that every planet has to be in the exact same place in other systems to support life.

Stars are classified as to size, spectral class, etc. The "goldilocks zone" is different for every star and guess what? THEY KNOW THAT, fool. They are perfectly capable of discerning how far away from any star a planet must be to have water in all three stages.

Also, there is no way that all life in the universe is going to be carbon, there are going to be silicon beings out there, and who knows, maybe even things more exotic!

You need to read more science and less sci-fi.

silicon has several drawbacks as an alternative to carbon. Silicon, unlike carbon, lacks the ability to form chemical bonds with diverse types of atoms as is necessary for the chemical versatility required for metabolism. Elements creating organic functional groups with carbon include hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and metals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. Silicon, on the other hand, interacts with very few other types of atoms.[6] Moreover, where it does interact with other atoms, silicon creates molecules that have been described as "monotonous compared with the combinatorial universe of organic macromolecules".[6] This is because silicon atoms are much bigger, having a larger mass and atomic radius, and so have difficulty forming double bonds (the double bonded carbon is part of the carbonyl group, a fundamental motif of bio-organic chemistry).

We don't know that we're not the only planet with any kind of life whatever. It's unlikely that this rock is the only place with life, but not impossible. We just don't know.

Re:'Habitable Zone' Bull***t (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45144905)

As long as the probability of finding life in the habitable zone is greater than the probability of finding life outside the habitable zone, then the concept is useful.

'Galactic Bulge' (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | 1 year,7 days | (#45141653)

That's what she said...

High radiation (1)

mknewman (557587) | 1 year,7 days | (#45142773)

Since the galactic bulge has a far higher denisity of stars the background radiation would be very high. I seriously doubt we are going to find any life in that neighborhood, let alone ever be able to travel 25,000 light years. ,

Re:High radiation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,7 days | (#45144383)

The solar system has a prominent magnet field even in the outer reaches, what's to rule out the possibility of strong magnetic fields to handle the distinct weather closer to the center?

Has this planet heard of Jesus? (1)

ulatekh (775985) | 1 year,6 days | (#45149943)

No? Well, then, let's get a move on! We need to whip some religion on the natives and force them to pray to our god!

And you actually wonder why we have no proof of intelligent life from other planets. If you were in their place...would you come anywhere near this debacle?

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