Nearly one in six stars in our region of the Galaxy may have planets the size of Earth. This is the opinion of astronomers preliminary results of observations with the Space Telescope, “Kepler”.
This tool was created specifically to find extra solar planets. Although not especially large mirror, it has a very wide field of view and is equipped with a sensitive photometer, which has long been measured directly many stars shine.
Similar observations have allowed scientists to detect regular fluctuations in brightness, where between us and the star were rotating around the world: from hundreds of light-years to detect the planet directly is difficult, and the method of photometry has worked out very well, they found hundreds of celestial bodies.
On an annual and is the 221st meeting of the account of the American Astronomical Society of the California Institute of Technology, told that the new managed to extract from the data, “Kepler”, which was launched back in 2009. The total number of suspicious star around which the planet may be, is in the new 2740 catalog “Kepler” has 43% more objects about the size of Earth. Since a long time, the existing methods can not find planets this size – it’s a pretty important news.
Several individual detections of planets with a diameter of less than even the Earth itself is not sufficient to indicate how many such facilities in our area of the galaxy.
In the words of John Johnson, one of the astronomers presented new data, “the power of Kepler” in the statistics – sampling of the dozens and hundreds of objects representative enough – if I switch to English astronomical research surveys.
One-sixth of stars with planets earth size, however, does not mean “one-sixth of stars with planets that are similar to us.”
It’s definitely hard, but not gaseous-ice (like Jupiter or Neptune) sites, but many of them are too close to the star, some elongated orbit too, and some are located near the “wrong” stars – too unstable for brightness, for example.
According to another author, Francois Fressinet of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts, say the exact number of potentially habitable planets yet.Although the analysis of the collected “Kepler” information goes in this direction.
Brightness, gloss and a number of nuances
The word “shine” – it’s not a literary synonym of “brightness.” Brightness of stars astronomers call the amount of light it emits per unit of time, but the shine – the apparent brightness of the firmament. Brightest objects, quasars located at a distance of billions of light years and still can outshine entire galaxies, barely visible even in the best telescopes: they have high brightness, but very low gloss.
Photometry method also obviously useless to search for planets, the orbital plane which is not parallel to the view of the observer: if the planet passes by the star that he should not blind us to its rays, no eclipse, scientists will not see. But when it comes to the millions of stars, it is not such a significant limitation.
In addition, to researchers, there are other ways to detect exoplanets – for example, to measure the velocity of the star, stars with planetary systems move unevenly.
Turnover “in our region of the Galaxy” is not accidental – the Milky Way is about one hundred thousand light years across, and with the help of “Kepler” astronomers looked at the stars, away from us within ten thousand light-years. Moreover, near the galactic core will definitely be completely different conditions appear to be much less favorable for life.