Saturday, December 3, 2011

Astronomers Discover 18 Huge New Alien Planets

A new study reports that astronomers have found 18 new planets.  All 18 are gas giants like Jupiter that orbit stars bigger than our sun.  "The haul comes just a few months after a different team of researchers announced the discovery of 50 newfound alien worlds, including one rocky planet that could be a good candidate for life."  The team watched over 300 start at least 1.5 times more massive than our sun.  They looked for small quivers that would be caused by gravitational tug.

This new evidence supports one of two theories of the formation and evolution of planets.  Core accretion is the theory that "planets grow as gas and dust glom onto seed particles in a protoplanetary disk."  The other main competing theory is called gravitational collapse.  This theory "holds that planets form when big clouds of gas and dust in the disk spontaneously collapse into clumps that become planets."

It is amazing to think of what could be out there beyond our world.  I also think it is too big of a concept to imagine the amount and size of everything else out there.  I think it'll be long after my lifetime before astronomers will be able to know for sure if there are other planets that have life on them.  I always joke and say there is a planet with aliens out there somewhere.  It's just that their planet is much older than ours and their technology surpasses our tremendously.  They are able to fly around in flying saucers and they are now finding us, to them, another planet with life.  That is my explanation of aliens, but it may not be as far fetched as it seems. 

1 comment:

  1. Astrobiologists (yes, a real title) like Paul Davies speculate that unknown laws of physics make life inevitable give the right conditions (Goldilocks Effect, according to him, as in "just right" for life) and the right number multiple universes. Mind-blowing stuff.