Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little Know Fact... I'm an Astronomy Nerd

So, many of you have been forced to listen to me go on and on about the wonders of the universe and all that it holds.

There are so many fascinating things that we have yet to learn, and with every discovery we only discover that there is so much we only know.

A group of Dutch undergrads discovered a new planet. We have been discovering planets rotating stars for quite some time, but this is a unique discovery.

First I want to say how awesome is it that by studying light fluctuations or wobbles, and gravitational pulls, we can mathematically prove that other planetary systems exist.

For the most part we have found Jupiter sized planets in places where life is unlikely, but as it was explained to me that is because of the limitations of our technology. It is almost certain other solar systems exist that are similar to ours.

Anyway, this new planetary system travels around a star much hotter than our Sun, and it orbits the planet in less than three days.

I'll spare you the two-hour lecture about how cool astronomy is and just sum up my feelings with this: Astronomy is FASCINATING!!!!!

So this is an image taken from the Hubble Telescope of the star Fomalhaut. This is the debris that circles the planet and the close up is one of three planets that orbits the star. This is not a picture of the newly discovered planet, but I wanted to give you an idea of what this stuff looks like.

Also, astronomers hypothesize that earth-sized planets may be present in this solar system but they may be too dim to capture.


dawn said...

The wealth of information that you possess astonishes your dear ol' mom . . . :-)

Sara and Wade Jacobsen said...

you're a nerd! I love you though.