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Space Science

11 New Multi-Planet Star Systems Discovered 109

astroengine writes "The number of known multi-planetary star systems has just tripled. What's more, the Kepler space telescope science team has just announced that they have doubled the number of confirmed exoplanetary sightings made by the observatory. Some of the newly discovered worlds are only 1.5 times the size of Earth, while others are bigger than Jupiter. Fifteen exoplanets are between Earth and Neptune in size, but further observations will be needed to determine if any have a rocky surface like Earth, or a gaseous consistency like Neptune."
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11 New Multi-Planet Star Systems Discovered

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  • Rocky? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @06:55PM (#38834467)

    rocky surface like Earth

    More like a liquid surface, statistically speaking.

  • by Princeofcups ( 150855 ) <john@princeofcups.com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @07:34PM (#38834765) Homepage

    I'd consider the fourth option, that we've only had human history for 6,000 years, good records for less than probably 2,000, and that we're in the boondocks. If we had been visited, the chance is that there just isn't evidence of it, and that we'll either have to wait to be visited again, hope that other civilizations see our radio transmissions and see it as worthwhile to come here, or go out there on our own and see what's out there. The problem is that our technology is young, we are young, and there really isn't anything that interesting about us.

    I have a fifth option. Maybe our level technology and scientific understanding is NOT the be all and end all of the universe, and we are looking for the wrong things. Imagine a colony of ants deciding that there is no life other than ants because no one else (humans) is reading and answering their chemical trails. The ants have no idea that we use sound to communicate, and cars to travel. Believing that radio communication and launching hunks of steal into the cosmos for travel are the only options may be very presumptuous. Give us about a million years to mature as a species, and then maybe we'll be able to "see" what's really around us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @08:09PM (#38834995)

    Unlike your hypothetical ant-human, we can observe and acknowledge other forms of communication ... such as ant chemical trails... Thus we are not so naive as your analogy would suggest. Not that we couldn't be ignorant of galaxy scale communication systems, but we're better equiped than you suggest.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling