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Space Science

Richest Planetary System Discovered With 7 Planets 245

eldavojohn writes "The European Southern Observatory has announced that with the aid of their 190 HARPS measurements they have found the solar system with the most planets yet. Furthermore they claim 'This remarkable discovery also highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet research: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets. Studies of planetary motions in the new system reveal complex gravitational interactions between the planets and give us insights into the long-term evolution of the system.' The star is HD 10180, located 127 light-years away in the southern constellation of Hydrus, that boasts at least five planets (with two more expected) that have the equivalent of our own Titius–Bode law (their orbits follow a regular pattern). Their survey of stars also helped reinforce the correlation 'between the mass of a planetary system and the mass and chemical content of its host star. All very massive planetary systems are found around massive and metal-rich stars, while the four lowest-mass systems are found around lower-mass and metal-poor stars.' While we won't be making a 127 light-year journey anytime soon, the list of candidates for systems of interest grows longer."
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Richest Planetary System Discovered With 7 Planets

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  • Re:Richest? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:18PM (#33361762)

    One of the planets detected has 1.4 times the mass of the Earth, making it the smallest exoplanet detected yet. Wanna bet on this system having at least one more less massive and currently undetectable planet?

  • by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:25PM (#33361900)

    Its really too bad they partially debunked the guy that proved that the light speed limit was little more than a myth. I'm hoping for new evidence to back up a non-existance of a light speed barrier.

    Theoretically though, if you could somehow make an engine constantly add thrust and never plateau due to relativity(where max speed would be the maximum exit speed of the particles being used for propulsion) you could exceed light speed.

    I really think we need a lab somewhere in space. Something along the terms of the Jump Zero station from the Mass Effect universe where we can experiment in space without too much worry. The current situation means it isn't even possible for a raw space test, there are always fairly significant forces acting on whatever you are doing as long as you are within the solar system. Getting into semi-deep empty space for some experiments may open a lot of doors.

    To conclude: Damn you relativity! DAMN YOU TO HELL! **sob**

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <> on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:30PM (#33361986) Homepage Journal

    It would require a radio telescope with a 1 Km dish (or many with equal collecting area as well as comparable resolving power) to be able to detect an Earth-sized planet 1 AU from its sun at a distance of 100 LY from Earth at a resolution of a single pixel. (Information courtesy of the director of the SETI Institute during an on-site lecture at NASA.) This is 127 LY away and some of the planets are closer to their sun still. The current proposal for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) telescope has it distributed across continents - boosting the resolving power - but the collecting area might still be too feeble to directly observe a whole lot.

    (The proposal would likely need to be upgraded to a Square Mile Array or larger before you could do much in the way of direct observation. The SKA project has been painfully slow to advance and, frankly, upgrading it to the size necessary to actually look at Earth-sized alien worlds at that kind of distance just isn't going to happen. It's unclear to me if SKA as it stands will ever really happen.)

  • by darien.train ( 1752510 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @05:44PM (#33362178) Journal

    I'm being snark-serious. What I wrote is clearly a fantasy that flaunts our current knowledge about how the universe works.

    I think it's only a matter of time before a lot of previously held ideas about light, matter, gravity, etc are going to have to be heavily rethought. The emergence principal has been rearing it's ugly head quite a bit recently in unexpected places and it's possible that the speed of light is an emergent property of the universe, not a hard or set one.

    It's just a hunch, not science, and will likely be wrong but who cares. It's a comment board and I can dream of all the quantum proxy robots I like!

  • Re:Master of Orion 2 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by PmanAce ( 1679902 ) on Tuesday August 24, 2010 @06:27PM (#33362700) Homepage
    One of my favorite games of all time. Boy did I ever play the crap out of that game. Even tried playing multi-player with a friend of mine over modem, lets just say it was not that great, his turns would take forever and I would just sit there waiting for him to click done or whatever the button was called.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"