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Space Science

Kepler Spots "Perfectly Aligned" Alien Worlds 73

astroengine writes "When NASA's Kepler space telescope started finding planets at odd angles to their parent stars, scientists wondered if our solar system's tidy geometry, with the planets neatly orbiting around the sun's equator, was an exception to the rule. That idea can be laid to rest thanks to an innovative use of the Kepler data which aligned three planets circling the sun-like star Kepler-30 with a giant spot on the star's surface. 'The planets themselves are not all that remarkable — two giant Jupiters and one super-Earth — but what is remarkable is that they aligned so perfectly,' astronomer Drake Deming, with the University of Maryland, told Discovery News."
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Kepler Spots "Perfectly Aligned" Alien Worlds

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 26, 2012 @06:05AM (#40774803)

    It doesn't have anything to do with the spinning of the galaxy. Our ecliptic plane is not the same as that for the galaxy (60 degrees off).

    When a nebula collapses, there will be areas of lower and higher densities. Eventually this will impart an angular momentum. The rotation flattens out the protoplanetary disk [wikipedia.org]. Thus retrograde rotation or anything out of the ecliptic is very odd (such as the dwarf planet Pluto) and probably needs to be explained by events outside of the initial formation of the system.

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