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.

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.

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.

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)

Via Softpedia.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...' Jules Verne, 1889.

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.' - Carl Sagan, 1985.

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.' - Robert Heinlein, 1966.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'

Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.