Thursday, May 19, 2011

Speaking of heaven - its turbulent

Kind of reminds me of some conflicts in Pacifica.

"Astronomers, including a NASA-funded team member, have discovered a new class of Jupiter-sized planets floating alone in the dark of space, away from the light of a star. The team believes these lone worlds were probably ejected from developing planetary systems. 

The discovery is based on a joint Japan-New Zealand survey that scanned the center of the Milky Way galaxy during 2006 and 2007, revealing evidence for up to 10 free-floating planets roughly the mass of Jupiter. The isolated orbs, also known as orphan planets, are difficult to spot, and had gone undetected until now. The new found planets are located at an average approximate distance of 10,000 to 20,000 light-years from Earth.  'Although free-floating planets have been predicted, they finally have been detected, holding major implications for planetary formation and evolution models,' said Mario Perez, exoplanet program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The discovery indicates there are many more free-floating Jupiter-mass planets that can't be seen. The team estimates there are about twice as many of them as stars. In addition, these worlds are thought to be at least as common as planets that orbit stars. This would add up to hundreds of billions of lone planets in our Milky Way galaxy alone.  The survey is not sensitive to planets smaller than Jupiter and Saturn, but theories suggest lower-mass planets like Earth should be ejected from their stars more often. As a result, they are thought to be more common than free-floating Jupiters."   Read more from  Science Daily, 5/18/11.

Then there is that old discovery.  "In the beginning", 13 billion years ago.  Article and video  (1:31 minutes) from  Science Daily, 6/1/07.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

No comments: