Skip to content

Discovery of 'mega-Earth' means life on other planets more likely

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/3/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Giant rocky planet formed earlier than believed possible.

Astronomers have found a new class of planet, a "mega-Earth." The latest find is reportedly 17 times the mass of Earth and was presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. 

Kepler-10c is 17 times the mass of Earth.

Kepler-10c is 17 times the mass of Earth.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/3/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Kepler-10c, planet, mega earth


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers have announced the discovery of a "mega-Earth," a planet some 17 times the mass of Earth. The planet is designated Kepler-10c, and orbits its sun-like parent star once every 45 days.

Located about 560 light years away in the Constellation Draco, as seen from Earth, Kepler-10c research originally suggested that the planet was a gas giant, orbiting close it its parent star. Such planets are not uncommon, often known as "hot Jupiters," or based on mass, "mini-Neptunes," which are a bit smaller.

Our children are the Heartbeat of the Family.

However, studies on the mass of the planet revealed that it could only have a rocky composition as opposed to a large gaseous envelope of an atmosphere. That means the planet is a titanic rocky body, many, many times the size of Earth. Rocky planets of this mass are unheard of.

Scientists are now asking if the planet is an extreme oddity or it if is typical.  The answer may lie somewhere in-between. The problem is that direct observational evidence is difficult to obtain because previous measurements, taken in the context of surveys of stars, have been relatively brief. As longer measurements of each star system are made, it becomes more likely that a planet will be observed. Planets are detected by the wobble they make in the star's light and in the tidal forces they exert.

Another interesting feature about the Kepler-10 star system is that it is 11 billion years old. That means the planet formed just 3 billion years after the Big Bang, something scientists have always thought possibly but unlikely.

It also suggests that if the early universe had the material to make heavy planets, then it also had the material to make life. That makes life more likely in the universe.

The implications of the planet are more important than the planet itself.

Astronomers will now look for, additional mega-Earths.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.


Comments


More Technology

Does the Vatican's top scientist believe in the Big Bang Theory? Watch

Image of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno is the director of the Vatican Observatory.

Some people see faith and science as being at odds. They find it astonishing that the Church can embrace investigation into questions of ... continue reading


PEW RESEARCH - Experts predict the death of capitalism is near Watch

Image of Capitalism is a system whereby people freely exchange goods and services they value via a medium of exchange (money) to achieve their goals. But what happens when billions of people can no longer offer anything of value to the market?

The Pew Research Center has just published a major report on the future of work, jobs, and capitalism in the face of new technology and ... continue reading


People are going to attack robots, until this happens... Watch

Image of A robot on patrol at Stanford.

Robots are beginning to appear in public, the first generation that will share our public spaces. As they begin to appear, designers must ... continue reading


Scientists discover hobbits are real, but they're not related to us Watch

Image of A hobbit man compared to a modern human.

A diminutive species of hominid, known as a "hobbit" lived in Indonesia some two to 1.5 million years ago.  New research suggests they ... continue reading


Scientists think they know where MH370 REALLY is based on new research Watch

Image of Scientists testing the flaperon discovered it floats uniquely, changing the results of their tests.

Scientists are hopeful the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be renewed following tests that show the plane is likely in a new, ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.