Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Fireball planet orbits star in 8.5 hours

Posted on Tuesday, 20 August, 2013 | Comment icon 11 comments

Image credit: NASA/ESA

A newly discovered Earth-sized world around a distant star completes a full orbit in a matter of hours.

Dubbed Kepler 78b, the small world orbits its parent star at a distance 40 times closer than Mercury's orbit of our own sun. Not only does this produce an extremely short orbital period but the planet itself is a smouldering, hellish world with temperatures exceeding 3,000 Kelvin. By contrast, Mercury's maximum surface temperature peaks at around 700 Kelvin.

The newly discovered planet has a few other surprises in store as well. It is the first time scientists have been able to directly observe light from a planet of this size and because of its tight orbit, it is believed that it may be possible to determine its mass, a feat never achieved before for a planet outside of our own solar system.

"Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered a new, Earth-sized exoplanet for which orbiting its star is literally all in a day's work."

  View: Full article |  Source: The Register

  Discuss: View comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 20 August, 2013, 12:29
It doesn't work like that. If the orbital velocity is correct then theoretically you could orbit 2 inches above the star. In reality that can't happen. Stars have an atmosphere and if the planet orbits within this then drag will slow the planet and that will cause it to spiral into the star. Also there is the Roche Limit. If the planet orbits lower than the stars Roche limit then tidal forces will tear it apart.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ryu on 20 August, 2013, 13:37
Yeah, with a velocity like that I suppose the planets orbit can be maintained for quite some time. But what about the slingshot effect. With a high velocity rate, isn't it possible for the planet to be flung away at some point?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 20 August, 2013, 14:06
Again it doesn't work like that. If an object is in orbit it means that the force trying to make it fly away from the object it is orbit around (inertia) is balanced by the force trying to pull it into the object it is orbiting (gravity). They will remain balanced unless another force acts on them.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 20 August, 2013, 14:32
At our galactic center stars are racing around a black hole as well, and while the BH may be pulling gases off their surfaces and "consuming" the gas, despite the intense gravitation (billions of times that of our sun), they do not just fall into the black hole, they orbit it. It would take some other object, say another star, passing close by to change the orbit of the star in question, in which case it might fall in, be flung away, or merely change its orbit. Just think of the earth's orbit around our own sun, or the moon around the earth, on our time scale, the orbits are ve... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 20 August, 2013, 14:55
Amazing. I like how, even after being(somewhat out-of-service) that there is more previous data to pour over and examine. I say "somewhat" because even though 2 out the 4 gyros have failed, I think I heard that they are considering using the onboard mini-thrusters to somewhat stabilize the telescope for additional imaging. Maybe Waspie has more info on that.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 20 August, 2013, 16:45
Basically Kepler's planet hunting days are over. NASA is looking into what useful mission it could now carry out. There is more info .
Comment icon #8 Posted by brlesq1 on 20 August, 2013, 22:32
What a great article. Too bad Kepler failed.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Rolci on 21 August, 2013, 13:08
Comment icon #10 Posted by shrooma on 21 August, 2013, 19:34
. Adamantium. Superman's underpants. margaret thatcher's heart. a frozen 20lb turkey at 11am on christmas morning..... ;-)
Comment icon #11 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 23 August, 2013, 18:17
Actually, in the case of the earth and moon the orbit isn't that stable since the earth is rotating faster than the moon is orbiting tidal forces are increasing the orbital velocity of the moon (and slowing the earth's rotation slightly) meaning that one day we will lose the moon.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Students report seeing 'alien' in Argentina
Three witnesses claimed to have encountered the entity around one week ago in the city of Santa Cruz.
Kids in China climb 2,500ft cliff to school
A school in southwest China is so inaccessible that pupils have to scale a huge cliff just to get there.
Should robots be taught how to feel pain ?
Researchers from Germany are building an artificial nervous system that will enable robots to feel pain.
Russian family dines with a 7ft brown bear
The Panteleenkos adopted their bear Stepan when he was just a cub and now they do everything together.
Other news in this category
Building blocks of life found on comet 67P
Posted 5-29-2016 | 7 comments
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made a significant new discovery within the atmosphere of its new home....
NASA reveals new close-up images of Pluto
Posted 5-28-2016 | 15 comments
The fascinating pictures are the most detailed views of Pluto we are going to get for a very long time....
Scientists find evidence of tsunamis on Mars
Posted 5-20-2016 | 7 comments
New evidence has suggested that Mars may have once experienced frequent and destructive tidal waves....
Mars methane spike 'not a seasonal event'
Posted 5-18-2016 | 7 comments
A mysterious spike of methane picked up by the Curiosity rover two years ago has yet to reoccur....
NASA invests in eight new sci-fi technologies
Posted 5-16-2016 | 10 comments
The US space agency will be attempting to turn several more futuristic technology concepts into reality....
Dwarf planet is third largest in solar system
Posted 5-12-2016 | 14 comments
Despite being comparable in size to Pluto and Eris, this enigmatic world has yet to even be given a name....
NASA announces discovery of 1,284 exoplanets
Posted 5-10-2016 | 13 comments
The incredible new haul has more than doubled the total number of known extrasolar worlds to over 3,200....
NASA to make Kepler announcement tomorrow
Posted 5-9-2016 | 32 comments
The space agency will be revealing the latest findings of its Kepler Space Telescope tomorrow afternoon....
Three new Earth-sized planets discovered
Posted 5-3-2016 | 11 comments
Astronomers have identified three new terrestrial worlds around a relatively close 'ultracool' star....
NASA reveals telescope's giant golden mirror
Posted 4-30-2016 | 16 comments
The impressive gold-coated mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope has been revealed in all its glory....
'Space umbrella' could stop global warming
Posted 4-28-2016 | 24 comments
Scientists have been exploring ambitious new ways to effectively cool, rather than to warm up the planet....

 View: More news in this category
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ