Sep 2, 2011

Astronomy News Tidbits - New Planets & Earth Like Moon Found

Originally published: December 13 2008

There are so much discoveries going on with extra-solar planets! I have been noticing quite the Jupiter type planets have been found, actually 93 % has been so far. According to PlanetQuest the count at this moment of me typing this is as follows :

-> the current planet count is :333

-> Stars with planets : 282

I am getting interested in the hunt for extra-solar planets now even though I've followed the planet hunter Geoff Marcy for three years now, I saw him on discovery channel's Daily Planet show and got interested in his drive for planet hunting. So this month I picked up January 2009 ( out now ) Sky & Telescope mag and the main story is "looking for other earth's"which I just finished reading with my morning coffee and decided to make a point of telling you guys ( n' girls) about the amazing efforts and discoveries they are making!

I am interested in how big they are and according to my article in the magazine , The diameter and mass together tell the planets average density. This in turn says a lot about it's makeup . in particular whether it's made mostly of gas or rock. How cool is that ! We are so far from it, it's a dot to us and from the newly discovered planet looking back our way , we don't even exist !! In a few cases astronomers have even identified gases in the atmosphere if transitioning giants spectroscopically.

So as you see the picture I posted of the current issue and story i'm telling you about they are hunting for an earth like planet. I remember when they announced they found one ... here's the article... and another here .. but they don't somehow mention it now. Also they found a possible Earth -Like Moon orbiting another star. Maybe it's a candidate for now. You can read about it in the link I provided.

Also one thing i'm excited about is the KeplerMission, which is a telescope being launched in February 2009 to hunt for planets orbiting other stars in between my favorite part of the summer sky. The Cygnus / Lyra area right smackers in the middle.

COOL LINK coming at you! duck! ExoPlanet Encyclopedia oooohh !To keep up with the growing collection of known exoplanets.Also check out the PlanetQuest link I gave above, they beefed up their site and it is Fun ! to browse through.

Find new news or sites about any of this ? please share! so fascinating !

Thanks Justin , a daily reader of my NiteskyNews who sent "The Hunt For Habitable Planets" in. Here is info sent in by these readers:

MarsMan sent Exoplanetology. While my friend Orly sent in How Long Until We Find a Second Earth?

So this post keeps on growing ! I just checked PlanetQuest and they announced this .. Multi planet solar systems found : 35