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Space Science

First 'Habitable Zone' Galactic Bulge Exoplanet Found 48

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick,-hide-behind-jupiter dept.
astroengine writes "For the first time, astronomers have discovered a sun-like star playing host to a 'habitable zone' exoplanet located inside the Milky Way's galactic bulge — some 25,000 light-years distant — using a quirk of Einstein's general relativity. But don't go having dreams of exotic getaways to the glistening lights of the center of our galaxy; this exoplanet is a huge gas giant world, about five times the mass of Jupiter. However, there is something (potentially) very exciting about this new discovery. Like Jupiter, this newly discovered giant exoplanet may possess small satellites; exomoons that could have life-giving potential. 'Indeed, although the data do not explicitly show any signature of a companion to the Jupiter planet, this possibility is not ruled out,' the researchers write [arXiv]. 'The planet is apparently at the edge between the snow line and the habitable zone, but considering a potential greenhouse warming effect, the surface temperature of a possible companion (exomoon) can be suitable for habitability.'"
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First 'Habitable Zone' Galactic Bulge Exoplanet Found

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  • Mightn't a primary of 5x Jovian mass radiate a significant amount of IR on its own? Reminds me of Trygve from A Deepness In The Sky...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @10:29PM (#45139409)
      The planet would likely have a massive radiation belt (similar to our gas giants) that would sterilize any moons. This is the same reason that inhabiting any of the Jovian or Saturnian moons is a pipe dream unless you go way below ground.
      • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @10:35PM (#45139447)

        The planet would likely have a massive radiation belt (similar to our gas giants) that would sterilize any moons

        Sounds lovely. We should definitely send the politicians first.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And then they find something odd like an iron-rich satellite with a magnetic field that can deflect the radiation, and also has it's core warmed by tidal forces. A high level of vulcanism drives the ambient temperature insteald of solar radiation. And since it's getting the majority of heat from the planet it orbits rather than the star, it's goldilocks zone is pushed outwards further than what typical models would suggest. Something like that just might have life where you wouldn't expect it.

        Traveling to s

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Traveling to such a satellite orbiting a gas giant would still present problems. Anything getting from or to it alive would be a real bitch, because the radiation belt of the gas giant still must be crossed first.

          One word: Cabbage. [medicalnewstoday.com]

    • by thomst (1640045)
      I suspect that being located inside the galactic bulge means the radioactive background level alone is liable to be pretty darned inimical to life.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Mightn't a primary of 5x Jovian mass radiate a significant amount of IR on its own?

      It's in the galactic bulge, wouldn't any planet or moon around any star in that part of the galaxy have horrible radiation?

      Also, how far is MOA-2011-BLG-293Lb from Trantor?

  • All these words are yours except for Europa. Oh, and this one about 25,000 light years away - you don't get that one either.

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

    • by corbettw (214229)

      All these words are yours except for Europa. Oh, and this one about 25,000 light years away - you don't get that one either.

      Sorry for the inconvenience.

      Damn, and I really like how "Europa" sounds, too. Guess I'll have to make do with just plain old "Europe".

  • by Baby Duck (176251) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @10:11PM (#45139277) Homepage

    Can we just call them $^@&ing planets and moons and not resort to EXOPLANETS and EXOMOONS?! Seriously? If we find a gas giant with large spherical rocks revolving around them, yet be within its atmosphere, we can call those f--kers ENDOMOONS. You didn't call the humongous bright thing an EXOSUN or EXOSTAR, so let's have some consistency here.

    What next? "A long, long EXOTIME ago on an EXOPLANET far, far away"

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Sky down Luke. Get a grip. Latin prefixes need not stir the hormonal reservoirs of Titan with such strength as your basal ganglia muster. It's only a game, full of sound and fury, like the audio generated from the idle twiddling of engineers compelled to transmography the plasma wave recordings from Huygens-Cassini's pass near Saturn, signifying nothing.

      All the world's not worth your rage.

    • "You didn't call the humongous bright thing an EXOSUN or EXOSTAR, so let's have some consistency here."

      I don't, but astronomers do.

    • by whargoul (932206)
      You need a vacation. Colorado or Washington might be a good pick.
  • by future assassin (639396) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @10:12PM (#45139287) Homepage

    forests and little fur-balls with spears?

  • If we ever get to the moon, for the love of God, do NOT take off your helmets when going inside any structures, terraformed or not. And if you see any large cobra-worms, DON'T try to pet them. Show some common sense.
  • PANDORA! Cue blue people and fantastical music
  • Forget that it's an uninhabitable super gas planet. At 25k light years away, it's only 4k light years away from the four million solar mass black hole at the center of the galaxy. That's a next door neighbor that might bring down the value of your real estate.

  • Yavin?

    Come on, we were all thinking it.

  • Just because our planet is a certain distance away from the sun and supports life, doesn't mean that every planet has to be in the exact same place in other systems to support life. Also, there is no way that all life in the universe is going to be carbon, there are going to be silicon beings out there, and who knows, maybe even things more exotic!
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Oh, yeah, those scientists are SO stupid... sheesh.

      Just because our planet is a certain distance away from the sun and supports life, doesn't mean that every planet has to be in the exact same place in other systems to support life.

      Stars are classified as to size, spectral class, etc. The "goldilocks zone" is different for every star and guess what? THEY KNOW THAT, fool. They are perfectly capable of discerning how far away from any star a planet must be to have water in all three stages.

      Also, there is no w

  • That's what she said...

  • Since the galactic bulge has a far higher denisity of stars the background radiation would be very high. I seriously doubt we are going to find any life in that neighborhood, let alone ever be able to travel 25,000 light years. ,
  • No? Well, then, let's get a move on! We need to whip some religion on the natives and force them to pray to our god!

    And you actually wonder why we have no proof of intelligent life from other planets. If you were in their place...would you come anywhere near this debacle?

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

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