Gas Giant Exoplanet Can Has Moons?
A gas giant exoplanet is believed to be circling binary star HD 176051. Both stars are similar in size to our own sun (1.07 and .71 solar masses); although it is not known which star the exoplanet orbits, it appears to be within the habitable zone of the star system.
( Planetary System around the Star HD 176051 )
Space experts generally agree that the best way to explain how planets are formed in general is by slow accretion of material in the protoplanetary disk surrounding new stars.
Science fiction writers did not invent the idea of inhabitable moons. In 1634, just twenty-five years after Galileo turned his new telescope on the moon, and announced its imperfect (and thus more Earth-like) surface, Englishman John Wilkins published his first scholarly work, entitled The Discovery of a World in the Moone: Or A Discourse Tending To Prove that 'tis probable there may be another habitable World in that Planet. SF writers, however, certainly popularized the idea.
These disks are basically fields of debris, made up of cosmic dust and gas, which are left behind after a star is born inside a nebula. The debris begins to spin around the giant fireball, and eventually clump together to form planets and other space objects over millions of years.
But such a formation process would have been impossible around HR 7162, experts say. This location would have made it impossible for the accretion disk to coalesce into something even remotely similar to a planet.
Gravitational forces are strong enough near a regular star, but a binary is not only producing immense pulls, but also turbulences and interplays that would have certainly ripped through a surrounding protoplanetary disk with ease.
But what the finding does support is an alternative theory on planetary formation, which holds that denser regions in the disks form the space bodies a lot faster, by collapsing under their own weight, under their own gravitational pull.
The investigators behind the new study also determined that the second method would produce a large exoplanet within only a few thousand years.
Depending on your fan preference, you might be thinking of Pandora, the gas giant exoplanet moon in the recent blockbuster Avatar.
(Avatar's moon Pandora)
Or, you might be thinking the gas giant exoplanet forest moon Endor from Star Wars.
(Avatar's moon Pandora)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/24/2010)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...' - Harley S. Aldinger, 1932.
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...' - Niven and Pournelle, 1974.
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...' - Bruce Sterling, 1985.
SpaceX Spacesuit Design Transmitted By Elon Musk
Welcome, SpaceX, to the club of space suit imaginers and makers.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'
HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."
Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'
DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'
A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?
Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'
Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'
PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'
Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'
Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'
U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?
Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'
Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.
easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.
Meet Assist-e Honda's Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'
Kalashnikov's One-Seater Hovercraft
Not for windy days.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories