Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

Space Science

Kepler Discovers 'Phantom' Exoplanet 78

Posted by timothy
from the from-whence-comes-unobtanium dept.
astroengine writes "The Kepler space telescope has spotted an extra-solar planet with a very odd orbit. Sometimes Kepler-19b slows down by five minutes during its 9-day orbit. Other times it speeds up by five minutes. Johannes Kelper's laws of orbital dynamics never said a celestial body can arbitrarily speed up and slow down; another planetary body must therefore be gravitationally acting on Kepler-19b. Enter Kepler-19c, a world that hasn't been observed, but its gravitational effects have. This is an unprecedented discovery, one that could potentially be used in multi-planetary star systems to discover more 'phantom' worlds that would have otherwise gone unnoticed."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Kepler Discovers 'Phantom' Exoplanet

Comments Filter:
  • Unprecedented? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jaryn (880486) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @12:48PM (#37363172)

    Unprecedented? Isn't this pretty well the way we discover all extra-solar planets? Through star wobble? Unless we're lucky enough to line up for a full on occlusion?

    I mean, I guess in this case it's "planet wobble". But FTFA: "Interestingly, planets in our solar system have been detected through a similar method."

    So uh... unprecedented?

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.