Wondering about wild grapes

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wondering About Some Newly Discovered Planets.

I am not talking about planets in our own solar system, but I am talking about exoplanets.  Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars other than our sun, or a stellar remnant, or a brown dwarf.  There have been more than 1800 of them discovered and about half of that number have been discovered just in this past year.  About a half a dozen of them may be Earth like, although they thought that maybe two more would fit that category except on further observations, those two turned out to be just sunspots on their star.   I am going to list the new found planets with a short description:

      Even though this planet has a really big name, it is only about the size of our Earth, it has an Earth like orbit, in a double-star system.  Dang!!  I wonder if it harbors life of any kind??

GU Psc b
     This planet set the record this year for the greatest distance from its star.  It orbits around 200 billion miles away from its host star or about 2000 times the distance from our Earth to the Sun.  It is also massive, about the size of a dozen Jupiters.

     This planet is a "mega-Earth", having 17 times the Earth's mass.

      This one could be special.  You see, it is in the "Goldilocks" zone where it is not too hot nor is it too cold for liquid water to exist.  This could be the friendliest-to-life exoplanet found so far.

       This planet has a huge wobble.  Because of this wobble, it dips above and below the plane of its star's orbit in an eleven year cycle.  Earth takes 112,000 years to complete such a wobble.

Kapteyn b
        This planet could be the one where even advanced life could exist.  Why?  It is more than twice Earth's age and can have liquid water.  Life would have had many extra billions of years to develop.  But so far, we have not been able to prove it one way or the other.

I suppose, if you are not interested in our universe and what all is in it, you were bored with my post today, but if you are like I am and get excited about new discoveries out there in our universe, then you probably not bored and hopefully you learned something.  Now have a great day and a great weekend, you hear?

BTW, I got most of this information from the January/February 2015 Discover, a magazine that I subscribe to.


  1. Never bored.... just opens up a whole new area of thought for me....

    1. There is just so much to learn and so little time to do so.

  2. Ok, book me a trip to Kepler-186f! I hope the astronomy community will eventually come up with some good planet names that don't have any numbers in it. What are you most likely to remember - Neptune or Kepler 413b? Now sometimes astrophysicists even refer to the known and named constellations with a dumb number designation, and I wish they'd get together with some good names. Surely there are lots of gods and goddesses' names not being used.

    1. I think they should use our names, that would take care of two of them. There are some rogue planets that could be named Gypsy (grin).