1. Subscribersonhouse
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    03 Feb '11 02:56
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/02/nasa.kepler.planets/index.html?iref=NS1

    This is just a first step, I think transit methods will be superceded by more direct methods like coupled telescopes and such. The transit method used by Kepler can only find planets that transit the sun, the planes of the planets very close to the plane of the planets here. A few degrees north or south and goodbye transit.

    So powerful telescopes of the future will have by definition a much larger star set to examine. Imagine telescopes bigger than Hubble but several coupled together and a few kilometers apart simulating the resolution of one telescope the size of the separation. Already being done on Earth but in space, there will be no earth shaking and such, no atmosphere to have to correct so coronagraph like instruments designed to blot out the light from a star to view the planets in orbit and maybe even measuring the atmosphere. Imagine finding such a goldilocks zone planet around Alpha Centauri. Wouldn't that be a boost for interstellar travel.
  2. Subscribersonhouse
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    03 Feb '11 05:27
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110203.html

    Here is a diagram of the system.
  3. Gloucestershire , UK
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    03 Feb '11 13:26
    i woudn't say they lie in the goldilocks zone of this particular star. the star kepler-11 is a G class star much like our own sun, with a similar mass, radius and surface temperature. with all of these planets having orbits located well within the orbit of venus i would imagine they would all be 'too hot' for life as we know it

    however the discovery of such an unusual planetary system is really interesting, as well as the ability of the kepler telescope to observe such small changes in the brightness of distant stars. it seems that exo planets are being more readily discovered these days with instruments such as the kepler telescope
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    04 Feb '11 15:30
    Originally posted by soulby
    i woudn't say they lie in the goldilocks zone of this particular star. the star kepler-11 is a G class star much like our own sun, with a similar mass, radius and surface temperature. with all of these planets having orbits located well within the orbit of venus i would imagine they would all be 'too hot' for life as we know it

    however the discovery of suc ...[text shortened]... ts are being more readily discovered these days with instruments such as the kepler telescope
    I wonder why they said there could be liquid water on those planets? If it is a G star, and the planets inside our mercury orbit, and mercury is around 400 degrees.....
  5. Gloucestershire , UK
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    08 Feb '11 15:53
    if they are in a synchronous orbit like our moon is to the earth then it could be possible for there to be frozen water in the polar regions, hidden in craters or anywhere on the dark side of the terminator.
  6. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 Feb '11 02:301 edit
    Originally posted by soulby
    if they are in a synchronous orbit like our moon is to the earth then it could be possible for there to be frozen water in the polar regions, hidden in craters or anywhere on the dark side of the terminator.
    They think there is water ice on the moon, where the sun never shines, left over cometary impacts, if so it would be quite an incentive to making colonies on the moon. The same thing they think may be going on on Mercury, where the sun does not shine it is instant freezer and if a watery comet hits there, it could have surviving ice. Just lay on the sunscreen if you accidentally stick your head over the edge of the crater🙂
    So any planet almost however close to its parent sun and in a reasonably vertical orientation, that is to say, equator aiming at the star, poles perpendicular, there could be ice from cometary impacts. Not quite the same thing as being in the goldilocks zone though.

    I think the biggest problem facing future lunar colonists will be not lack of water but lack of mineable metals. They think the moon came about from a collision with a mars sized planet and most of the iron went to earth and the moon got short shrift in that regard.
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