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08/25/2010 12:22 PM ID: 85226 Permalink   

Astronomers Found at Least Five New Planets


The European Southern Observatory confirms that astronomers have found at least five new planets, which orbit a sun-like star. This star is said to be about 100 light years away from earth.

It is assumed that there could be even two more new planets with one of them being the smallest planet ever discovered outside our solar system. The first five planets found seem to be similar to Neptune.

"The really nice thing about finding systems like this is that it shows that there are many more out there. Mother Nature really had fun making planets", Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution for Science commented the finding.

    WebReporter: edie Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
of course there are many more out there...
  by: averyz   08/25/2010 05:53 PM     
  Similar to Uranus?  
or more similar to Neptune?
  by: MannyisHere     08/25/2010 07:55 PM     
Call me when you guys find planets that have a meaningful impact on society. There are countless billions.. trillions of planets. That´s like going outside and saying ´we found a new rock on the sidewalk´.
  by: velger   08/26/2010 01:33 PM     
They all have an impact.

The more we find the more we learn about detecting future planets.

The fact that they may detect a planet approximately Earth´s size is amazing in itself.

The majority of extrasolar planets that they are able to detect are hot Jupiters.

Gas planets that are relatively close to their stars so they reflect much of their stars heat. Passed that it has proved exceedingly difficult to detect smaller planets.

The fact that they may start finding them with moderate success now is awesome.
  by: Pyronius     08/26/2010 02:19 PM     
Way to stay positive, but velger has a point. They need to make this less sensational news however the fact that it´s similar to Neptune is good information. Although Neptune is reported to be mostly hydrogen and helium, it could be a step in the right direction towards making water.
  by: vex   08/26/2010 07:15 PM     
Yes but we have only figured out how to see those rocks for the first time recently. This is such a new science that it still has quite a lot of room for new discoveries and breakthroughs in technology. This part of astronomy is going to get very popular I feel over the next 10-15 years.
  by: slavefortheman     08/26/2010 07:50 PM     
  Sad this isn´t worth it for some people  
We don´t even celebrate going to the freaking moon for crying out loud. The biggest accomplishment ever & we don´t even give a rats tail.
  by: vhan     08/27/2010 01:04 AM     
You should really start reading the source articles.

"Although most of the planets identified are large -- about 13 to 25 times the mass of (earth) -- those behind the discovery, announced Tuesday at an international conference in France, say they´re nearly certain they´ve identified one only 1.4 times the size of Earth."

The source article doesn´t mention anything about planets being similar to Neptune. It merely states that overall almost all extrasolar planets found are gas giants. (It references Jupiter and Saturn)

Terrestrial planets are very difficult to detect at this time, and the fact that they may have found one, is a pretty big deal.

  by: Pyronius     08/27/2010 03:42 PM     
You argued that finding new planets has a meaningful impact on society because finding new planets can lead to finding new planets.

Clearly, you see a huge amount of "win" in having a longer list of planets to talk about but to be sure, your awe has no meaningful (or even non meaningful) impact on society.

As an example, a finding that would have a meaningful impact on society would be finding the cure for stupid. Or, at least, a drug that would lessen the effects of stupid on society at large...
  by: silencedmajority   08/29/2010 05:48 AM     
  by: alisha rose     08/29/2010 06:25 AM     
Astronomers Found on at Least Five New Planets wasting time and money.

[ edited by alisha rose ]
  by: alisha rose     08/29/2010 06:29 AM     
His point is that finding more planets improves our ability to find smaller planets. Finding smaller planets refines our ability to detect atmospheric content. Determining the atmosphere of a small, terrestrial planet help us figure out if life exists there(generally, elemental oxygen will only exist if plants are generating it).
I have a hard time believing anyone would think discovering extraterrestrial life is unimportant.

People rarely see the hidden benefits of most research. Would anyone have guessed that the precursor to neon lights would lead to televisions? Or that the internet was a product of the space race with the USSR?
  by: Zyste     09/07/2010 06:49 PM     
For your argument to hold sway, we would have to alter history, omit the things you pointed out and then see if the internet, television, et al still came to being. I would argue that yes, they would have, because those things actually exist because of the discovery of electricity.... without which none of what you spoke of would´ve been possible.

And again, Pyronious argued that discovering more planets was a benefit to society. I didn´t refute his claim I simply asked him to cite an example of such... which he clearly either could not do or chose not to.
  by: silencedmajority   09/07/2010 09:11 PM     
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