Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/3/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Astronomers are perfecting the direct imaging of smaller and smaller planets.

Astronomers in South America have imaged an alien planet orbiting just 300 light years from Earth. Although other exoplanets have been imaged before, this is the smallest one yet.

The light of the parent star is blocked out and the planet is the bright blue dot to the lower left.

The light of the parent star is blocked out and the planet is the bright blue dot to the lower left.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/3/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Exoplanet, star, HD 95086, astronomers, European Southern Observatory


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new image released by the European Southern Observatory shows a bright blue dot-- the reflection of light off the gaseous atmosphere of a planet.

The planet is the smallest one yet imaged and is only about four or five times more massive than Jupiter.

Astronomers have already become good at detecting planets orbiting distant stars. They have found that planets are quite common and are probably a natural byproduct of star formation. In other words, most stars probably have planets.

The direct imaging of smaller and smaller planets may give astronomers the ability to see with their own eyes, earthlike planets as they orbit distant stars.

Of course, those images won't provide much photographic detail but rather they will simply show planets as points of light. Astronomers can filter that light to determine the chemical composition of a planet's atmosphere.

Astronomers will be looking for the telltale chemical signatures of life on other planets once this technique is perfected.

For now, astronomers are able to detect very large gas giants around stars by blocking out the light from parent stars. The method is similar to covering your eyes with your hand on a sunny day so you might see distant detail.

In addition to the planet's sheer size, it is also helpful that it orbits about 56 astronomical units from its star, which is 56 times the average distance between the Earth and the Sun or about twice the distance from the Sun and Neptune.

The image shows a planet orbiting the star HD 95086, a star of only 10 to 17 million years old. This suggests to astronomers that planet formation can occur early and quickly in the life of a star.

Astronomers want to study the planet and its parent star further to determine if the planet formed at that great distance, or if it was moved there by interactions with other gravitational influences.

The finding is due to be published in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg predicts the future of technology Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, shared and explained preparations the social media company is developing for the future. Through his profile's Q&A, he explained that he believes we will be soon able to send our thoughts out as we think them, with an optimum ... continue reading


ISIS posting up to 100,000 tweets per day, governments falling behind in cyber war Watch

Image of Sometimes all it takes - is one sympathetic ear or voice in a massive sea of indifference to turn a law-abiding citizen into an agent of terror and mass destruction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes all it takes - is one sympathetic ear or voice in a massive sea of indifference to turn a law-abiding citizen into an agent of terror and mass destruction. Islamic State or ISIS continues to post 100,000 tweets daily in order to recruit ... continue reading


Hundreds of iPhone users hit with worrisome 'blue screen of death' Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Complaints have piled up against Apple iPhones, reaching social media, after several iPhones of various models were hit by the "blue screen of death" just before rebooting without any notice. The random occurrences became somewhat of an outbreak, after people revealed ... continue reading


Samsung's amazing new technology promises to help lower car accident fatalities Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Traffic accidents are horrifying and in an effort to prevent road accidents involving trucks, Samsung has introduced its new product, the "Safety Truck." The common response of drivers annoyed by a blocked view of a slow running big truck is they want to get ahead, but ... continue reading


Tokyo's Lexus creates levitating hoverboard -- A reality? Or another hoax? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You may find it hard to believe, but a working model for a hoverboard is actually here. The Tokyo branch of Lexus in Japan has developed a model for the hoverboard. It seems to act like magic - at least for now - as the hoverboard promises to carry a person using ... continue reading


Facial recognition technology taking over the world, even APPEARING IN CHURCHES Watch

Image of Facial recognition technology can identify you, even if you're not completely facing a camera.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Companies and events are utilizing facial recognition technology to identify a person's face, even if the face is partially hidden. Facebook uses their vast facial recognition database, which can recognize a face even when it's hidden. Google's new Photos app can now ... continue reading


Strange new COCKROACH ROBOT squeezes through impenetrable gaps Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a robot based on a cockroach. The new technology is so innovative; it is hard not to find yourself stunned to witness the cockroach bot escape into an extremely miniscule gap. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Extra-terrestrial life exists - but not at Area 51 Watch

Image of There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden. He was on hand to greet a crowd of curious British schoolchildren, and said that there are so many planets like our ... continue reading


Is there water - and life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Watch

Image of Jupiter is about 390 million miles from Earth when the two planets are at their closest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons, and is approximately the size of Earth's moon. Many astronomers say the moon has the greatest potential for life in our solar system. To this end, NASA is planning a more in-depth study and mission to this mysterious ... continue reading


Is a 706 MPG car possible? BMW hopes of creating stunning new electric car Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several months after the release of BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, rumors are circulating about a new model. According to the rumors', the German automaker is currently focusing on the development of a more efficient model than the previous i8. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter