Happy Fibonacci Day, everybody! It won’t happen again for 3019 days!
The Kepler spacecraft has certainly turned out to be a rock star of science–
John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Kepler has recently discovered 2 planetary systems, Kepler 62 and Kepler 69. The thing is that there are 3 super-Earth-sized planets in these systems that are in the habitable region of their star. That is exciting news indeed !
The Kepler-62 system has five planets; 62b, 62c, 62d, 62e and 62f. The Kepler-69 system has two planets; 69b and 69c. Kepler-62e, 62f and 69c are the super-Earth-sized planets, we are most interested in.
Two of the newly discovered planets orbit a star smaller and cooler than the sun. Kepler-62f is only 40 percent larger than Earth, making it the exoplanet closest to the size of our planet known in the habitable zone of another star. Kepler-62f is likely to have a rocky composition. Kepler-62e, orbits on the inner edge of the habitable zone and is roughly 60 percent larger than Earth.
The third planet, Kepler-69c, is 70 percent larger than the size of Earth, and orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. Astronomers are uncertain about the composition of Kepler-69c, but its orbit of 242 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our neighboring planet Venus.
It is not certain as to whether these planets have liquid water, but there is certainly a nice chance that there is.
Relative sizes of all of the habitable-zone planets discovered to date alongside Earth. Left to right: Kepler-22b, Kepler-69c, Kepler-62e, Kepler-62f and Earth (except for Earth, these are artists’ renditions). Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech.
Kepler is turning out to be really awesome !! Will it ever find an exoplanet just like Earth ? Who knows, it just might.
(via carbonstuff)Via That Science Guy
a Lazer ignited the tops of bottles filled with a flammable gas! Not really relavent, but still awesome!
This guy is just the coolest
Via Laughing Squid Links
heisenburger asked: On gravity affecting massless photons: here's a better way to think about it. Imagine that spacetime is a blanket of stretchy fabric. Put a heavy ball on it, and it stretches the fabric, creating a well. Roll another ball across and the 2nd ball feels the pull of the first -- it goes towards the well. Like normal gravity! Cool. Light travels in straight lines on the fabric, but the fabric itself has been stretched! Hence to us, it looks like it has been bent by gravity.
I really like that explanation - not that I didn’t really see it that way already, but it was very well put.
Also, your URL is awesome!
sadiqsaleemblog asked: photons have zero rest mass so why do they feel the effect of gravity according to genera theory of relativity?
General Relativity actually explains exactly how gravity affects light. The primary reason why light is affected by gravity is actually a little indirect. You’re right in thinking that since photons lack mass that they are not pulled by gravity. But strong gravitational fields (like those around stars, massive planets, black holes, galaxies, etc) are actually powerful enough to bend the space-time fabric, which in turn changes the medium through which the photons travel thus altering their path. Sometimes what you’ll see as a result of this is light curving around a particularly massive object and appearing as if it is beside it, even though it was directly behind it from your point of view (its called a gravitational lens).
Does that make sense?
The pendulum in the Physics Department stopped working…
IBM Team makes world’s smallest movie with ATOMS: ‘A Boy and His Atom’
This video holds the Guinness World Records™ record for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film (see how it was made). The ability to move single atoms — the smallest particles of any element in the universe — is crucial to IBM’s research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.