Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We May Have a New Neighbor Only 500 Light Years Away

1RSX J160929.1-210524 and its likely ~8 Jupiter-mass companion (within red circle)

This picture was taken using the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The planet is about 8 times the mass of Jupiter & is about 330 AU from the star. As a comparison, Jupiter is only 5.2 AU & Neptune is 30 AU from our sun. It still has to be confirmed that the planet actually orbits the star (is gravitaionally tied to it). The exoplanet has a temperature of about 1,800 Kelvin (about 1,500ºC). That makes it much hotter than Jupiter, which has a temperature of about 160 Kelvin (-110ºC).
The star has a mass that is about 85 percent the mass of the sun. It is younger than the sun as well. The planet is well beyond where current scientific models would suggest it should be.
Team member Ray Jayawardhana, of the University of Toronto had the following to say: "This discovery is yet another reminder of the truly remarkable diversity of worlds out there, and it's a strong hint that nature may have more than one mechanism for producing planetary mass companions to normal stars."
May I suggest that nature's diversity is a reflection of the glory of the God that created the Universe rather than simply a chance mechanism? What many scientists need to face, & often refuse to, is the fact that the best they can ever do is come up with how the universe operates, not why or who is responsible. Until they face up to the fact that not everything can be measured empirically then they will never fully appreciate how truly remarkable all of creation is.

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