Colossal Star System Discovered --"May Harbor Earth-like Planets"
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March 15, 2013

Colossal Star System Discovered --"May Harbor Earth-like Planets"

 

 

           Konopacky_hr8799c_march-2013

 

A team of astronomers has made the most detailed examination yet of the atmosphere of a Jupiter-like planet beyond our Solar System, using a high-resolution imaging spectrograph called OSIRIS, uncovered the chemical fingerprints of specific molecules, revealing a cloudy atmosphere containing carbon monoxide and water vapour. "The results suggest the HR 8799 system is like a scaled-up Solar System," says Quinn Konopacky of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto. "And so, in addition to the gas giants far from their parent star, it would not come as a surprise to find Earth-like planets closer in. We have been able to observe this planet in unprecedented detail because of the advanced instrumentation we are using on the Keck II telescope, our ground-breaking observing and data-processing techniques, and because of the nature of the planetary system."

"With this level of detail," says Travis Barman, a Lowell Observatory astronomer and co-author of the paper, "we can compare the amount of carbon to the amount of oxygen present in the planet's atmosphere, and this chemical mix provides clues as to how the entire planetary system formed."

There has been considerable uncertainty about how systems of planets form, with two leading models, called core accretion and gravitational instability. Planetary properties, such as the composition of a planet's atmosphere, are clues as to whether a system formed according to one model or the other.

"This is the sharpest spectrum ever obtained of an extrasolar planet," according to co-author Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "This shows the power of directly imaging a planetary system. It is the exquisite resolution afforded by these new observations that has allowed us to really begin to probe planet formation."

 

           Hr8799-color-osirisfov-v3

The spectrum reveals that the carbon to oxygen ratio is consistent with the core accretion scenario, the model thought to explain the formation of our Solar System. The planet, designated HR 8799c, is one of four gas giants known to orbit a star 130 light-years from Earth. The authors and their collaborators previously discovered HR 8799c and its three companions back in 2008 and 2010.

All the planets are larger than any in our Solar System, with masses three to seven times that of Jupiter. Their orbits are similarly large when compared to our system. HR 8799c orbits 40 times farther from its parent star than the Earth orbits from the Sun; in our Solar System, that would put it well beyond the realm of Neptune.

According to the core accretion model, the star HR 8799 was originally surrounded by nothing but a huge disk of gas and dust. As the gas cooled, ice formed; this process depleted the disk of oxygen atoms. Ice and dust collected into planetary cores which, once they were large enough, attracted surrounding gas to form large atmospheres. The gas was depleted of oxygen, and this is reflected in the planet's atmosphere today as an enhanced carbon to oxygen ratio.

The core accretion model also predicts that large gas giant planets form at great distances from the central star, and smaller rocky planets closer in, as in our Solar System. It is rocky planets, not too far, nor close to the star, that are prime candidates for supporting life.

The observations of HR 8799c were made with the Keck II 10-metre telescope in Hawaii, one of the two largest optical telescopes in the world. The telescope's adaptive optics system corrects for distortion caused by the Earth's atmosphere, making the view through Keck II sharper than through the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers refer to this as spatial resolution. Seeing exoplanets around stars is like trying to see a firefly next to a spotlight. Keck's adaptive optics and high spatial resolution, combined with advanced data-processing techniques, allow astronomers to more clearly see both the stellar "spotlight" and planetary "firefly."

"We can directly image the planets around HR 8799 because they are all large, young, and very far from their parent star. This makes the system an excellent laboratory for studying exoplanet atmospheres," says coauthor Christian Marois of the National Research Council of Canada. "Since its discovery, this system just keeps surprising us."

Konopacky and her team will continue to study the super-sized planets to learn more details about their nature and their atmospheres. Future observations will be made using the recently upgraded OSIRIS instrument which utilizes a new diffraction grating—the key component of the spectrograph that separates light according to wavelength, just like a prism. The new grating was developed at the Dunlap Institute and installed in the spectrograph in December 2012.

"These future observations will tell us much more about the planets in this system," says Dunlap Fellow Konopacky. "And the more we learn about this distant planetary system, the more we learn about our own." *Journal reference: Science Express Science

Konopacky is lead author of the paper describing the team's findings, published in Science Express, and on March 22 in the journal Science.

The Daily Galaxy via Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics

Comments

Poor Project 1640! Earlier this week THEY claimed to have the BEST SPECTRA of this VERY SAME PLANET (along with 3 other planets which OSIRUS did not investigate, so they STILL hold the record for those 3), but THAT spectra appears to be blown out of the water by OSIRUS! This is a testament to the extremely RAPID rate of improvement in exoplanet atmosphere detection! NOW, a very interesting possibility arises: IF there is a way to COMBINE BOTH SETS OF DATA for HR8796C, we may get an even more IMPROVED spectra

Contrary to what science still believes, at the time of the Big Bang there were no atoms but only waves carrying energy through the infinite Void.
If we could view the Universe from outside, It would look like an egg-shaped cloud with winds running in perpetual motion inside of It.
The energy is like those winds running at maximum speed and pushing out the borders of the Universe.

The Universe continues to expand as the waves that travel at the border of the Universe have never encountered, nor will ever encounter, any interference from the Void. These waves will forever expand the Space of the Universe they create and leave behind.

Wave-behavior relates to the medium in which the waves travel.
Thus, wave-behavior at the border of the Universe is different than wave-behavior within the Universe.

Inside the Universe, waves change their frequencies by colliding with other energy during their travel. These waves, because of the encountered interference, continue to transform part of their original energy in other forms. Waves travel gradually releasing heat, or amounts of energy, and their original short wavelengths, in time become longer and longer as they carry less and less energy than they did when they first started to travel. These waves lose energy releasing it in form of other waves with wavelengths longer than their own.

For example, the gamma rays, over time, diminish their energy level (and their frequency) to become X rays, from X rays they will become ultraviolet and so on. The original quantum is not lost but distributed into other forms of energy through "spontaneous symmetry breaking".
Once reached an almost flat longitude (and lower critical energy level) these waves solidify into hydrogen atoms breaking up their energy in opposite elements, like the split ends of a broken hair.
When the hydrogen atoms are reached by the heat of other incoming waves they fuse together to create more complex forms of energy.

Still today, science differentiates the inorganic mass from organic.
The organic mass regroups all vegetable and animal kingdoms (including the Human beings) showing those perceivable changes that are missing instead in the inorganic mass apparently without movement or Life (like a pebble, for example).
Nevertheless, this difference is misleading since changes and movements are also taking place inside the inorganic mass, like for example, in the diamonds which gradually grow over the course of millions of years to form a cubic pattern or in the sapphires which instead grow at 60 degrees to form a hexagon, or also in molecules and atoms that always move everywhere.

The same traditional definition of life is still unclear and standing on ambiguous grounds. Do animals have life? Is there such a thing as a dead plant? Most people, for a clear definition of Life, cannot see further than the vegetable kingdom. Although, if we were to observe these three forms of life: humans, animals and plants, we can see how their single and common denominator is Movement.
But if Movement is Life then Life is everywhere in the Universe.
Where is the extraterrestrial Life? All around us.

http://www.wavevolution.org/en/humanwaves.html

For example, the gamma rays, over time, diminish their energy level (and their frequency) to become X rays, from X rays they will become ultraviolet and so on.


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