Wednesday, February 2, 2011

KEPLER-11

Evolution has always been a sore subject. It is a nuisance to those who do not favor evolution and, in turn, a massive gateway for those who indulge in this topic. As humans we have the natural fondness to uncovering mysteries; and why not the unknown is fascinating. Evolution is of utmost importance in the science field. The only question is where do we start; is it here on earth or is it in space. For many years it has been question is there life beyond our own and is that life or system structured the same way as ours. The Big Bang started the cascade of events that we now live today. Moreover, the point I'm trying to make is somewhere in the ever expanding void of space there maybe a similar system like ours. With that said i have stumbled upon an interesting article about a newly found solar system.

Kepler-11 is a telescope and spacecraft made by NASA. It was launched in March of 2010 with the sole purpose of finding planetary systems that circle a star much like ours. NASA has seen a various amount of interesting systems but none like the one that made these headlines. It is a system of six planets orbiting around a star much like ours. However, the only difference is these planets are tightly pack and are rather large. This has been deemed the most tightly packed planetary system where five out of the six orbit closer than mercury does in our solar system. New mysteries have unfolded, however, scientists can learn more about "space" from Kepler-11 than through traditional means.

The finding of Kepler-11 sparks a new stepping stone for researchers and scientists. They can now use this newly found information to better understand how planets are formed and evolve. One theory that has already developed from this is that gas giants form far from their parent star (where Jupiter and Saturn are) and eventually move in-ward. If scientist can figure out this phenomena of evolution what is to say they can't find or figure out how life can start on other planets. Furthermore, if this theory proves to be true what does it mean for our own planetary system.


posted by Louis Dumas (1)

4 comments:

  1. When I first learned about Kepler-11 several months before its launch, I was so excited of the possibilities of its findings. I discovered in an observational astronomy class that Kepler-11 would work by detecting variations in orbital periods of the planets orbiting the star on which Kepler-11 would be sent out to gather information. From this information, the star’s and the planet’s radii and masses could be determined, and then compared to our solar system and help determine whether life could indeed be supported in this faraway planetary system. This is pretty huge, and if indeed there were another system in space like our own that can support life, we could learn much from it, that is, unless it learns much about us first! I am not that na├»ve to believe Earth is the only life-supporting planet. There may very well be a handful of planets in our universe that have conditions like our Earth. Conditions like this are a matter of chance event, and if one rolls a die, he or she is bound to get a few snake eyes here and there. And who is to say ours if the only universe out there? Not I. That information is currently not within my reach, but it is very possible there are infinite earths where an EarthPrime exists, and the decisions each person makes on that planet affect the outcomes of their counterparts on these infinite earths. Think about that.

    Posted by Derek Melzar

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  2. I agree with Derek, as more discoveries such as the ones made by the Kepler-11 are brought forward, science fiction is becoming fact. There is a possibility that there are other beings out there: primitive or more advanced. To add to the array of planets discovered by the Kepler-11, back in September of 2010, a new planet supposedly very similar to Earth (or to be more specific in a location similar to Earth) called “Gllese 581g”., which is 20 light years away. Every living organism on Earth requires water to survive; this necessarily may not apply to other organisms living on other planets (that’s if there are any).

    Posted by Nelson Milano

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  3. Thanks for commenting guys. This really is an interesting and exciting topic. Just the idea of finding more information about planets or actually finding life is amusing. To comment on your infinite earth's statement; my friends and i have actually talked about things like that "the multi-verse theory". Where you live in several different universes but the actions you do are different. All in all mind boggling stuff.

    Posted by Louis Dumas

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  4. Kepler-11 is a major step in the right direction. Being able to collect this kind of data from space by a man made machine is truly incredible. I'm curious as to how this will make a difference in the human life; whether this knowledge or data will provide substantial evidence to make a difference in how we live. The article states that 156,000 stars are being evaluated and watched, but only the discovery of these six new planets seem to be news worthy. I don't mean to say that this information will go to waste, but how long will we have to wait to find a practical use for this discovery?

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