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Frankie
09-12-2011, 10:24 PM
'Super-Earth,' 1 of 50 Newfound Alien Planets, Could Potentially Support Life

This story was updated at 12:51 p.m. EDT.

More than 50 new alien planets — including one so-called super-Earth that could potentially support life — have been discovered by an exoplanet-hunting telescope from the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The newfound haul of alien planets includes 16 super-Earths, which are potentially rocky worlds that are more massive than our planet. One in particular - called HD 85512 b - has captured astronomers' attention because it orbits at the edge of its star's habitable zone, suggesting conditions could be ripe to support life.

The exoplanet findings came from observations from the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher instrument, or HARPS. The HARPS spectrograph is part of ESO's 11.8-foot (3.6-meter) telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

“The harvest of discoveries from HARPS has exceeded all expectations and includes an exceptionally rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets hosted by stars very similar to our sun," HARPS team leader Michel Mayor of the University of Geneva in Switzerland said in a statement. "And even better — the new results show that the pace of discovery is accelerating."

The potentially habitable super-Earth, officially called HD 85512 b, is estimated to be only 3.6 times more massive than Earth, and its parent star is located about 35 light-years away, making it relatively nearby. HD 85512 b was found to orbit at the edge of its star's habitable zone, which is a narrow region in which the distance is just right that liquid water could exist given the right conditions.

"This is the lowest-mass confirmed planet discovered by the radial velocity method that potentially lies in the habitable zone of its star, and the second low-mass planet discovered by HARPS inside the habitable zone,” said exoplanet habitability expert Lisa Kaltenegger, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany and Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Boston.

Further analysis of HD 85512 b and the other newfound exoplanets will be able to determine more about the potential existence of water on the surface.

"I think we're in for an incredibly exciting time," Kaltenegger told reporters in a briefing today (Sept. 12). "We're not just going out there to discover new continents — we're actually going out there to discover brand new worlds."

The HARPS spectrograph is designed to detect tiny radial velocity signals induced by planets as small as Earth if they orbit close to their star.

Astronomers used HARPS to observe 376 sunlike stars. By studying the properties of all the alien planets detected by HARPS so far, researchers found that approximately 40 percent of stars similar to the sun is host to at least one planet that is less massive than the gas giant Saturn.

In other words, approximately 40 percent of sunlike stars have at least one low-mass planet orbiting around it. On the other hand, the majority of alien planets with a mass similar to Neptune appear to be in systems with multiple planets, researchers said.

Astronomers have previously discovered 564 confirmed alien planets, with roughly 1,200 additional candidate worlds under investigation based on data from the Kepler space observatory, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

You can follow SPACE.com staff writer Dennise Chow on Twitter @denisechow. SPACE.com senior writer Clara Moskowitz (@ClaraMoskowitz) contributed to this report. Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Mr_Tomahawk
09-12-2011, 10:26 PM
Pictures or it didn't happen.

Dave Lane
09-12-2011, 10:26 PM
Almost every star will have planets. It's just how stars form.

4th and Long
09-12-2011, 10:29 PM
Almost every star will have planets. It's just how stars form.
Indeed. Finding one that supports carbon-based life is going to be the trick.

Spott
09-12-2011, 10:31 PM
I don't like the name they gave it. I'll just call it the new Pluto.

lostcause
09-12-2011, 10:32 PM
Indeed. Finding one that supports carbon-based life is going to be the trick.

The point of the article being that the planet lies in the habitable zone of distance from its star.

4th and Long
09-12-2011, 10:35 PM
The point of the article being that the planet lies in the habitable zone of distance from its star.
Thanks n00b but my reading skills don't require any help. I know what the article was about and was able to comprehend the entire thing.

I'm a HUGE space buff.

tk13
09-12-2011, 10:36 PM
In other news, Dayton Moore has already signed a 16 year old from this planet and sent him to winter ball. He'll be here by approximately 2236.

lostcause
09-12-2011, 10:37 PM
Thanks n00b but my reading skills don't require any help. I know what the article was about and was able to comprehend the entire thing.

I'm a HUGE space buff.

damn 0ld f00l. didn't mean to insult you. just thought your post needed some catching up. have at your big old buff.

Pawnmower
09-12-2011, 10:55 PM
Indeed. Finding one that supports carbon-based life is going to be the trick.

well, finding one that is CLOSE (relatively) is actually going to be the trick........

Dave Lane
09-12-2011, 11:05 PM
Detecting life on another planet is the real trick. When you can't even see the planet it's a tough tell. Fortunately we saved a couple billion in the budget since the repub's in congress cut the new bigger telescope to replace 25 year old Hubble. It's a freaking embarrassment.

DenverChief
09-12-2011, 11:10 PM
well, finding one that is CLOSE (relatively) is actually going to be the trick........

or warp technology...

mikey23545
09-12-2011, 11:14 PM
Detecting life on another planet is the real trick. When you can't even see the planet it's a tough tell. Fortunately we saved a couple billion in the budget since the repub's in congress cut the new bigger telescope to replace 25 year old Hubble. It's a freaking embarrassment.

Didn't Obama-boy save enough by ending shuttle flights, and axing Constellation to make up for it?

BCD
09-12-2011, 11:17 PM
Cassel will suck there, too.

SNR
09-12-2011, 11:18 PM
So are those the Vulcans? Or the Klingons?

mikey23545
09-12-2011, 11:18 PM
For that matter if he hadn't spent $2 trillion on non-working stimulus plans we could have just invented warp drive and flown there to see what's up.

mikey23545
09-12-2011, 11:20 PM
Detecting life on another planet is the real trick. When you can't even see the planet it's a tough tell. Fortunately we saved a couple billion in the budget since the repub's in congress cut the new bigger telescope to replace 25 year old Hubble. It's a freaking embarrassment.

Maybe next you can imply that Christians destroyed all plans for an improved telescope.


You are such a fucking worthless tool.

Smed1065
09-13-2011, 01:40 AM
Too soon Frankie, duck and cover..............

Bad Idea- the DC has ran out.

Smed1065
09-13-2011, 01:42 AM
For that matter if he hadn't spent $2 trillion on non-working stimulus plans we could have just invented warp drive and flown there to see what's up.

Or stayed status quo and been broke 2 years ago to support terrorism/ war on drigs-LOL or Continue printing money/ Like It started 3 years ago................

Wake up fuckstick and go back to the blackhole.

Take that to the other forum asshole.

Smed1065
09-13-2011, 01:44 AM
For that matter if he hadn't spent $2 trillion on non-working stimulus plans we could have just invented warp drive and flown there to see what's up.

Or BS war plans....

Take a hike. Your avy is even copied.

WTF.

CrazyPhuD
09-13-2011, 02:03 AM
Just as long as it is full of unobtanium.

CrazyPhuD
09-13-2011, 02:05 AM
'Super-Earth,' 1 of 50 Newfound Alien Planets, Could Potentially Support Life
The exoplanet findings came from observations from the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher instrument, or HARPS. The HARPS spectrograph is part of ESO's 11.8-foot (3.6-meter) telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.


Oh fuck.....I wonder how many people had to die for this discovery...

Dave Lane
09-13-2011, 06:34 AM
Maybe next you can imply that Christians destroyed all plans for an improved telescope.


You are such a ****ing worthless tool.

Cool story, what ya drinking now bro?

Saulbadguy
09-13-2011, 06:44 AM
Class M planet.

Dave Lane
09-13-2011, 06:49 AM
Not as rich in minerals, but you gotta love type M planets. We just need to be able to mine them from space.

stevieray
09-13-2011, 06:50 AM
ya, good luck with that.

Blankey
09-13-2011, 07:00 AM
Some of you have really annoying sigs.

No sig 4 lyfe

Rooster
09-13-2011, 09:09 AM
I don't like the name they gave it. I'll just call it the new Pluto.

How about Super-Pluto?:D

Ace Gunner
09-13-2011, 09:11 AM
good. can we send matt cassel there?

Frankie
09-13-2011, 10:16 AM
The point of the article being that the planet lies in the habitable zone of distance from its star.

I wouldn't live on it unless it's truthful.

Ha ha ha ha......

OK, that was lame? :(

Donger
09-13-2011, 10:30 AM
Excellent thread, Frankie.

lazepoo
09-13-2011, 10:54 AM
Oh ****.....I wonder how many Bothans had to die for this discovery...

FYP

Inspector
09-13-2011, 11:19 AM
Old news.

Rod Serling did an episode on Twilight Zone where the inhabitants of HD 85512 b had a nuclear war and two families escaped on the new super duper rocket ship to head off to a distant planet.

And the distant planet? It was Earth.

I enjoyed that episode because it was true man. No really. And this story proves it.

HonestChieffan
09-13-2011, 11:27 AM
Detecting life on another planet is the real trick. When you can't even see the planet it's a tough tell. Fortunately we saved a couple billion in the budget since the repub's in congress cut the new bigger telescope to replace 25 year old Hubble. It's a freaking embarrassment.

Wont matter. If the klingons there go super duper fast from that far away we will all be dead when they get here, global warming will have turned earth into a new sun, and they are gonna have to turn right around and return to New Pluto empty handed. If they are so smart anyway, they probably have a like a really really big scope that makes Hubble look like a kids toy anyway.

gblowfish
09-13-2011, 12:33 PM
In other news, Dayton Moore has already signed a 16 year old from this planet and sent him to winter ball. He'll be here by approximately 2236.
Let's send Scott Boras there NOW.

SNR
09-13-2011, 12:34 PM
FYP
God damn it!

loochy
09-13-2011, 12:36 PM
Let's send Jon McGraw and Mark Castle Scott Boras there NOW.

FYP

HonestChieffan
09-13-2011, 12:40 PM
http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/funny-random-facts-26.jpg?w=499&h=700

Get one of these and see it tonight.

Huffmeister
09-13-2011, 01:47 PM
Hmmm... I wonder if this planet is missing all of its telephone sanitizers...

mikey23545
09-13-2011, 02:52 PM
Or stayed status quo and been broke 2 years ago to support terrorism/ war on drigs-LOL or Continue printing money/ Like It started 3 years ago................

Wake up ****stick and go back to the blackhole.

Take that to the other forum asshole.

Maybe you need to pay attention to who started the DC crap, you brain damaged pedophile.

crispystl420
09-13-2011, 05:38 PM
Somewhere in the vast infinity of space there is another Eric berry out there with a healthy knee.

CrazyPhuD
09-13-2011, 06:43 PM
Somewhere in the vast infinity of space there is another Eric berry out there with a healthy knee.

What are you talking about, there's an Eric Berry with a healthy knee on the chiefs right now!

"Bob" Dobbs
09-13-2011, 07:13 PM
Hmmm... I wonder if this planet is missing all of its telephone sanitizers...Doesn't matter, dude. The Vogons are just gonna blow it up anyway.
Posted via Mobile Device

Dave Lane
09-13-2011, 08:42 PM
What are you talking about, there's an Eric Berry with a healthy knee on the chiefs right now!

Ok maybe he meant a Eric Berry with two healthy knees.

Dave Lane
09-13-2011, 08:47 PM
Maybe you need to pay attention to who started the DC crap, you brain damaged audiophile.

Does it bother you that you seem to be regularly marginalized? You seem somehow upset, or angry at the world around you. A fine young man like yourself, surely must know your limitations and attempt to live within them. It will make your experience in the forum much more enjoyable, and perhaps lower your need to lash out at others.