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The iron planet with a 4-hour year


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#1    questionmark

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:51 PM

New Scientist said:


When Joe lived back on Earth, it felt like the years were flying by. Then he went to work in the mines on the iron planet, and discovered how wrong he'd been. One side of the small world enjoyed perpetual night, and in his heat-resistant spacesuit it was just cool enough to stand and drill into the ground. There was neither sunrise nor sunset to mark the passage of time, yet he knew the iron planet whirled around its star so fast that every time he lay down for his 8 Earth-hours of shut-eye, he woke up two years later.

If Joe the space miner existed, that would be his life on KOI 1843.03, a potential planet found by NASA's Kepler space telescope. This odd world appears to have the shortest known year, completing an orbit around its star in just 4 hours, 15 minutes.

Because it is so close to the star, one side of the planet most likely always faces the star and feels more of its gravitational pull, creating tidal forces that squish and stretch the tiny body. And to withstand the star's gravitational wrath, the planet must be made almost entirely of iron.

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#2    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:55 PM

Oh no.... No way would I want to age that fast, unless I got presents on every single birthday

Edited by Simbi Laveau, 24 August 2013 - 07:55 PM.

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#3    Norbert Dentressangle

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:05 PM

How much gravity would it have, if as it appears it doesn't rotate at all? Would anything on it (such as Joe the hypothetical Miner) just be drawn off it into the sun? How much do they pay Joe?

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#4    Elfin

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:15 PM

 Colonel Rhuairidh, on 24 August 2013 - 08:05 PM, said:

How much gravity would it have, if as it appears it doesn't rotate at all? Would anything on it (such as Joe the hypothetical Miner) just be drawn off it into the sun? How much do they pay Joe?

Gravity is not caused by rotation.


#5    Euphorbia

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:24 PM

 Elfin, on 24 August 2013 - 08:15 PM, said:

Gravity is not caused by rotation.

Precisely! Gravity is caused by mass.......and an iron planet would have lots of mass.......depending on size/diameter of course.....

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#6    Ryu

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:29 PM

I was under the impression (erroneously it seems) that all planets rotated on their axis.
The article doesn't seem to address this, either that or I missed something. So I want to know is why wouldn't it rotate?


#7    Elfin

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:32 PM

 Ryu, on 24 August 2013 - 08:29 PM, said:

I was under the impression (erroneously it seems) that all planets rotated on their axis.
The article doesn't seem to address this, either that or I missed something. So I want to know is why wouldn't it rotate?

If one side faces the star all the time then it does rotate, at the same rate as its orbit. Just like the moon does to the earth (more or less). I believe it's called tidal locking, and all orbiting bodies are being gradually forced into this state, very slowly.

Edited by Elfin, 24 August 2013 - 08:33 PM.


#8    Ryu

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:40 PM

Ah right, right. Sounds logical. Sorry for sounding so stupid.


#9    NatureBoff

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:54 PM

 questionmark, on 24 August 2013 - 07:51 PM, said:

It suggests there's room for exotic matter as well imv.

The object, known by the locals as "Bicho Voador" (Flying Animal), or "Bicho Sugador" (Sucking Animal), has the shape of a rounded ship and attacks people in isolation.




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