RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 145,403
Posts: 5,725,524
Members: 25,780
Currently online: 369
Newest member: Annadog40

TrekToday headlines

Admiral – There Be Whales Here!
By: T'Bonz on May 27

Shatner To Guest On Canadian Mystery Show
By: T'Bonz on May 27

Pegg: Shatner In Star Trek 3?
By: T'Bonz on May 27

Star Trek Uniform Laptop Bag And Fanny Pack
By: T'Bonz on May 26

Star Trek: The Fifty Year Mission
By: T'Bonz on May 26

Where No Garden Gnome Has Gone Before
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Scotland Yard Trekkie Fear
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Koenig Joins Captain Pike Project
By: T'Bonz on May 22

Retro Review: Ex Post Facto
By: Michelle on May 22

Smallwood: Creating The Xindi
By: T'Bonz on May 21

Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.

Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science and Technology

Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

Thread Tools
Old October 17 2012, 12:52 AM   #1
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Send a message via AIM to DEWLine Send a message via Yahoo to DEWLine
Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

European Southern Observatory confirmed it today:

Apologies if this is being addressed in another thread.

Dwight Williams
DEWLine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 12:55 AM   #2
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Thrilling that a planet of Earthlike mass has been found at Alpha Centauri, but it's disappointing that it's super-close to its star and super-hot. Still, it proves we have the tools to find other Earth-sized planets in the system, so hopefully it won't be long until we know what else is there.
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 12:25 PM   #3
Location: Kentucky
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Another article on it.

At 6 million km (25 times closer than 1 AU to a star that's 50% of the sun's brightness), I'd guess the surface temperature is somewhere around 1600 F, though the 6 million km figure probably includes quite a large error bar.
gturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 12:36 PM   #4
Ronald Held
Rear Admiral
Location: On the USS Sovereign
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Good to see planet(s) in that system, unfortunate that the planet found is not a candidate for Earth's first extrasolar colony.
Ronald Held is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 01:18 PM   #5
Rear Admiral
Ar-Pharazon's Avatar
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

^ That could be on one of the other planets there

Seriously, wouldn't it be more difficult to find planets at greater distances from their stars because they don't transit as often?
Rimmer, on what period of history to live in-
“Well, It’d be the 19th century for me, one of Napoleon’s marshals.
The chance to march across Europe with the greatest general of all time and kill Belgians” - (White Hole).
Ar-Pharazon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 01:43 PM   #6
Lieutenant Commander
larryman's Avatar
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Where there is one Earth-sized planet... there is likely more of them. Now, lets get that NASA/Harold White warp drive going.
larryman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 04:10 PM   #7
Vice Admiral
StarMan's Avatar
Location: The Black Lodge.
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

"The European team detected the planet by picking up the tiny wobbles in the motion of the star Alpha Centauri B created by the gravitational pull of the orbiting planet [2]. The effect is minute — it causes the star to move back and forth by no more than 51 centimetres per second (1.8 km/hour), about the speed of a baby crawling. This is the highest precision ever achieved using this method."

This is, excuse me ... a damn fine cup of coffee...
StarMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 04:40 PM   #8
Fleet Captain
CaptainDonovin's Avatar
Location: Labrador City. woof
View CaptainDonovin's Twitter Profile
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

I bet there are a few more zipping around Alpha C. Yesterday, before this news I read @ about KOI-500 which appears to have five planets orbiting all closer than Mercury. Been waiting for news about Alpha Centauri, always hoped planets would be found there.

Off to build the Jupiter 2.
Long live DS9!
CaptainDonovin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 04:44 PM   #9
Mark_Nguyen's Avatar
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

By this point, it's fairly safe to assume, though as yet scientifically impossible to conclude, that pretty much EVERY star will have one or more (probably more) planetary bodies around it. The race IMO should shift to determining valid ways of finding actual Earth-size, atmostphere-bearing planets within a star's potential Goldilocks zone. We are discovering planets almost weekly now, through analysis of passive observation, which is great. I would love for a breakthrough to be made in detecting planets like ours, which then puts us a step closer to potentially habitable worlds.

The race used to be about finding out what's there; I think we should be looking to find places for humans to ultimately go to.

Mark Nguyen - Producer
The 404s - Improv Comedy Group

Oh, I like that Trek thing too...
Mark_Nguyen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17 2012, 07:07 PM   #10
Crazy Eddie
Rear Admiral
Crazy Eddie's Avatar
Location: I'm in your ___, ___ing your ___
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

^ I disagree. I think the race should be coming up with better imaging techniques capable of locating objects that DO NOT cause a detectable wobble in their parent star, or whose effect might be totally overwhelmed by other objects in their system.

This, incidentally, is why we only ever seem to find planets in really odd positions -- ridiculously close to their star or planets of unusual size. Meanwhile, we could spot a carbon copy of our own solar system and never be able to detect anything smaller than Jupiter orbiting it; the other seven planets would be undetectable, and worse still if this system has two or more dwarf planets in the goldilocks zone.

Since it can be safely assumed that almost every star in the milky way has at least one planet, we should focus our efforts on increasing our detection threshhold so that we can locate smaller objects in wider orbits, possibly allowing for planet searches around some of brighter/hotter/bigger stars with absurdly huge habitable zones (hell, maybe giant Betelgeuse has a couple of Earthlike planets in hundred-year orbits or spinning around a neptune-sized gas giant; I imagine that Europa and/or Titan would become pretty nice places to live during the Sun's red giant phase).
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Starfleet - Online Now!
Crazy Eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 20 2012, 08:20 PM   #11
USS Phantom
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Okay, fuel up the Jupiter 2 and notify the Robinson family!

Seriously though, this is interesting news. Thanks for posting.
USS Phantom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21 2012, 12:58 AM   #12
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

I feel that we are in the infancy stage of planet detecting. I believe in time that we will be able to spot planets that are further out. However, I do believe that we will have gaps in our information about each system until we get the means to visit the system, either manned or unmanned, and do a physical count.
throwback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21 2012, 01:14 AM   #13
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

^We'll have the technology to image exoplanetary systems in detail long before we have the technology to travel there. The James Webb Space Telescope, which is under construction now and should be launched by the end of the decade if government funding holds up, would probably be able to detect planets around Alpha Centauri by imaging them directly. And there are ideas for more advanced telescopes that could achieve even more. By travelling out to the Sun's gravitational focus, the focal point of the Sun's gravity-lensing effect about 550 AU out, we could make the Sun itself into a huge telescope with such high resolution that we could make detailed maps of any planets around Alpha Centauri, maybe even discern individual objects the size of cars, although that's perhaps an optimistic assessment.

The problems to surmount in order to actually reach other star systems are exponentially greater than the problems to surmount in order to image them in detail from right here in the Solar System. Science fiction tends to gloss over the difficulties of space travel as a dramatic convenience, but we mustn't let it mislead us about the enormous obstacles that civilization as a whole would have to surmount to traverse the vast distances between stars.
Written Worlds -- My blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22 2012, 07:59 PM   #14
Location: Kentucky
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Here's a bizarre point to ponder, assuming a universe where we can build enormous telescopes (many, many miles in diameter) but where interstellar journey's remain problematic.

In theory the surface of a neutron star is smooth almost to the atomic level, due to the intense gravity. A surface that smooth is often a mirror. If there are some neutron stars whose surface atoms are still normal enough for conventional electron shells, the star would be a spherical mirror like the ones you see at the corners of supermarkets and fork truck areas, where you can look at the mirror and see in all directions.

If we had a big enough telescope that could see one of these neutron stars located hundreds or thousands of light-years away, you'd have a way to reconstruct the image seen from that neutron star and gain a huge baseline for parallax measurements. If the neutron star was above the galactic plane, perhaps near a globular cluster, you could get an image of our own galaxy taken from outside it.

But the telescope to capture such an image would, indeed, be enormous! Quite a few "if's" in there, but it is at least an unusual thought.
gturner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23 2012, 07:22 AM   #15
sojourner's Avatar
Location: I'm at WKRP
Re: Alpha Centauri Bb: For Real

Gturner, I'm surprised you missed the obvious use of that neutron star mirror. It would also reflect light from earth. We could use it to look back in time.
Baby, you and me were never meant to be, just maybe think of me once in a while...
sojourner is offline   Reply With Quote


alpha centauri, exoplanets, news, science

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.