Saturday, September 01, 2012

Earth-like Planets in the Kepler 47 System

Astronomers of the Kepler Mission for the detection of earth-like planets have detected two new candidates in the Kepler-47 system, a pair of orbiting stars that eclipse each other every 7.5 days from NASA's vantage point on Earth. One star is similar to the sun in size, but only 84 percent as bright. The second star is rather small, measuring only one-third the size of the sun and less than 1 percent as bright.

"In contrast to a single planet orbiting a single star, the planet in a circumbinary system must transit a 'moving target.' As a consequence, time intervals between the transits and their durations can vary substantially, sometimes short, other times long," said Jerome Orosz, associate professor of astronomy at San Diego State University.

For the full text on NASA's latest discovery use the following link:
NASA Website on Kepler Mission

In December 2011, NASA reported about another earth-like planet, Kepler 22b, found in the sky region of Cygnus (Swan) and Lyra. This planet is orbiting a sun similar like ours and in a distance that would make human life possible, i.e. where liquid water could exist which is essential for the existence of human tissue.

Only two months later, in February 2012, they discovered a probably habitable "Super-Earth". Its sun Gliese 667C of which planet GJ 667 Cc is being considered belongs to a triple-star system in the constellation of Scorpius.

As these three examples are demonstrating, climatic conditions resembling those of our Earth can be expected even in such solar systems consisting of more than one central star.

Artistic perception of a planet in the Kepler 47 system (above).

No comments: