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Author Topic: keppler telescope and new planets  (Read 2759 times)
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« on: February 06, 2011, 02:08:49 AM »

I think one of the most fascinating areas of modern astronomy is the discovery of exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars). The Kepler telescope, which only has a 55" diameter mirror (not that much bigger than the largest amateur telescopes) has discovered many new planets since it's launch into space. It's amazing to think that the first planet outside our solar system was only discovered in 1995, and now there are nearly 2000 known exoplanets with another 1200 discovered by Keppler, waiting for confirmation. When you consider that due to the methods used (doppler effect of starlight caused by gravitational wobble) and transits (when the planet passes between us and the star) we're really only going to notice short duration orbits (can be confirmed relatively quickly, by measuring the regular changes), and large planets (=larger effects) - If we were looking at our own solar system from afar, we'd be lucky to discover anything, and even if we did, it would probably only be Venus/Earth.
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