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Seeking the pale red dot


Posted on Tuesday, 30 June, 2009 | Comment icon 2 comments


Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
 
A team of astronomers have determined that an extrasolar planet with the correct conditions for life would show up as more of a pale red dot as oppose to the pale blue dot that we have come to associate with our own planet.

"Scientists looking for Earth-like planets in distant solar systems might find it more productive to focus on pale red dots, rather than blue ones."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discovery Channel

  Discuss: View comments (2)

   


 
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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Lt_Ripley on 30 June, 2009, 16:16
The team used optical and near-infrared spectrographs attached to telescopes at the El Roque de los Muchachos observatory in the Canary Islands to observe the light reflected from the moon during the eclipse. With the sun positioned behind Earth and the planet's shadow falling on the moon, the light reflecting off the lunar surface back to Earth first passed through the planet's atmosphere. The effect is similar to the geometry observed when an extrasolar planet passes in front of its parent star, Palle told Discovery News. so that's why the moon at times looks reddish. cool.
Comment icon #2 Posted by ROGER on 1 July, 2009, 0:25
Before reading the whole thing my mind jumped to "Red Spectral Shift". I must say light through the upper atmosphere would never have occurred to me!


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