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Five new planets down 30,000,000,000 to go!





coolclay
Well Nasa's newest space telescope, Kepler, has discovered 5 new "exoplanets" with the super creative names Kepler 4b, 5b, 6b, 7b and 8b. I think it's pretty cool, and only a matter of time until we make lots of other interesting discoveries.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8440392.stm
ocalhoun
I didn't hear anything about this new telescope... Is it actually in orbit like Hubble? (And a replacement for it) Or is it ground-based?
coolclay
It was finally launched last year (it was estimated to be launched in '06) and is the largest telescope to be launched outside of Earths orbit. It's main purpose is to search for exoplanets and gather information about them such as size, temperature, mass, suitability for life, and all that good data. I don't think 5 planets is too bad for its first year in the sky.

Just like most things lately in the space world it hasn't received much media attention. I guess there are more important things going on like people dieing and stuff.
coolclay
Oh and it's not in orbit around the Earth but it's actually in a solar orbit trailing the Earth so that it stays as dark as possible.
Bluedoll
What gets me is in order to accomplish one of his objectives he has to use the transit method of location which is like finding a needle in a hay stack. Not an easy task complicated by the fact that he has sunny shinning this big flashlight in his eyes. I guess Kepler will figure out a way though to see small dots.

This is so cool but yes not too creative in the naming department for planets. Do you think these simple names for large planets like kepler-7b will hurt the travel industry? Laughing
ocalhoun
Bluedoll wrote:
Do you think these simple names for large planets like kepler-7b will hurt the travel industry? Laughing

They'll surely be renamed if they ever become a commercial prospect.

Like the lake near me back in Florida:
Original name: Rattlesnake Lake.
But then, they wanted to build a fancy housing development next to it...
New name: Love Lake.
Rolling Eyes I bet it still has rattlesnakes.
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