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Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Exoplanet News Thread (Post here any discoveries related to extrasolar planets)
Exoplanet News Thread
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 00:23 | Message # 1
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Nearby Earthlike Planet Is Made Of Diamond

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New research says the planet has no water and is made primarily of carbon. It also shows that planets can be more complex to study than stars.

A super-Earth-sized exoplanet in a nearby planetary system is likely made mostly of carbon, which means it is made partly of diamond, according to a new study. The main reason this paper is interesting: It upends the assumption that distant rocky planets might have similar chemistry to Earth. But also: A diamond planet!

The planet is called 55 Cancri e and is one of five worlds orbiting a sun-like star about 40 light years away. Its radius is twice that of Earth but it has eight times Earth’s mass, and it screams around its star every 18 hours. Also, its surface is about 3,900 degrees F. Other than that, though, this planet initially seemed like it might be similar to our own. But astronomers’ early assumption that it had water now appears incorrect.

Yale postdoc Nikku Madhusudhan and colleagues confirmed that substantial amounts of carbon and silicon carbide were in its solar neighborhood when the planet formed. They also measured its size, which allowed them to infer what it’s made from by calculating all the possible combinations of ingredients that would yield a planet of that size and structure. It's mostly graphite and diamond, with some iron and possibly some silicates, they say. At least a third of its mass, so about three Earths’ worth, could be diamond.

Perhaps someone should tell the folks over at Planetary Resources, who are planning to hunt down asteroids and mine them for a variety of material.

The findings show that astronomers studying distant rocky worlds should not assume they’ll be Earth-like, Madhusudhan said. A paper describing the planet was just accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.


Source
http://www.popsci.com/technol....diamond

Pretty crazy whats out there





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Edited by DoctorOfSpace - Friday, 12.10.2012, 00:54
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 00:28 | Message # 2
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I thought about posting this earlier smile It's great to start getting a good idea of what's out there, and how it differs from what we know.

Do you mind if I convert this into an exoplanet news thread? I think that might help to give everyone a place to post similar news in the future as opposed to always making new threads.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Friday, 12.10.2012, 00:29
 
DoctorOfSpaceDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 00:31 | Message # 3
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Do you mind if I convert this into an exoplanet news thread? I think that might help to give everyone a place to post similar news in the future as opposed to always making new threads.


Go for it, would save space in thread browsing.





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smjjamesDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 01:38 | Message # 4
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Woo! I think this is the first definite carbon planet discovered smile

Chances are extremely high that it's tidally locked, so future miners can easily set up a base on the night side to avoid the extreme heat.





 
WatsisnameDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 02:07 | Message # 5
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^ Assuming the atmosphere isn't thick enough to transport heat evenly around the planet. If I'm not mistaken, we don't have any spectroscopic observations of this planet yet. For all we know it could be under a thousand atmospheres of pressure. wacko

I hope we can eventually get carbon and other exotic types of planets in Space Engine. smile





 
Donatelo200Date: Friday, 12.10.2012, 02:31 | Message # 6
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At 8.23 Em it will probably still retain a noticeable atmosphere just due to its sheer density (it's twice as dense as Earth) and mass. Though it probably wont be greater than 10 times thicker than ours because of the extreme radiation and heat from the star.




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WatsisnameDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:11 | Message # 7
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Volume of a sphere = 4/3*pi*radius3

Density = Mass/Volume

The density of this planet, given 8 Earth masses and 2 Earth radii, must be 0.24 times that of the Earth. Seems pretty low for a carbon planet, so what's wrong here?





 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:21 | Message # 8
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Quote (Watsisname)
The density of this planet, given 8 Earth masses and 2 Earth radii, must be 0.24 times that of the Earth.

No, the density is the same as Earth. If mass radius is increased by a factor of 2, then volume is increased by a factor of 23, which equals 8. So an eightfold increase in mass will yield the same density.

Or you can just plug in the numbers and compare them. 6378 km radius and 5.97e+24 kg mass, vs (6378)*2 km radius and (5.97e+24)*8 kg mass.

After solving for volume and dividing, both give a density of 5.5 g/mL





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:24
 
smjjamesDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:24 | Message # 9
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No iron core?

If the atmosphere were particularily thick or cloudy, maybe they're actually measuring the top of the atmosphere? So it's actually smaller than we think and just has a puffy atmosphere.

It doesn't say what method was used to discover it, so, I have no idea how the atmosphere would play into it.


Or what Harb said.







Edited by smjjames - Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:26
 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:28 | Message # 10
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Quote (smjjames)
It doesn't say what method was used to discover it, so, I have no idea how the atmosphere would play into it.

55 Cnc e is not newly discovered, it has been known since 2004. It was discovered by radial velocity measurements, but it is also transiting, hence its known radius and well defined mass.





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smjjamesDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:35 | Message # 11
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
Quote (smjjames)
It doesn't say what method was used to discover it, so, I have no idea how the atmosphere would play into it.

55 Cnc e is not newly discovered, it has been known since 2004. It was discovered by radial velocity measurements, but it is also transiting, hence its known radius and well defined mass.


I know the 55 Cancri system isn't new, heck, it's one of the more famous exoplanetary systems.





 
HarbingerDawnDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 05:44 | Message # 12
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That doesn't necessarily mean that any planet mentioned in the news from that system has been known for a long time, it's entirely possible that we could discover new worlds there tomorrow.

It just seemed from your post that you might not have recognized this particular world as being known, that's why I answered as I did.





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WatsisnameDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 06:08 | Message # 13
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Quote (HarbingerDawn)
No, the density is the same as Earth. If mass radius is increased by a factor of 2, then volume is increased by a factor of 23, which equals 8. So an eightfold increase in mass will yield the same density.


Whoops, I suffered a moment of profound stupid there! *puts on dunce cap* tongue

That solves my question of this planet's surface gravity, too. Should be about twice as much as Earth's. smile





 
OrbitalResonanceDate: Friday, 12.10.2012, 20:30 | Message # 14
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Any new planets are probably in the data, it jsut takes a long time to go through it all




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HarbingerDawnDate: Monday, 15.10.2012, 19:30 | Message # 15
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First world in quadruple star system confirmed:
http://www.space.com/18065-alien-planet-tatooine-twin-suns-stars.html

NASA's press release:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepler-ph1.html



Also, the most compact extrasolar planetary system yet discovered:
http://www.space.com/18073-tiny-alien-solar-system-exoplanets.html

5 planets which all orbit within 0.08 AU of the host star.





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Edited by HarbingerDawn - Monday, 15.10.2012, 22:27
 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Science and Astronomy Discussions » Exoplanet News Thread (Post here any discoveries related to extrasolar planets)
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