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Image of the TrES  (Source: Caltech)
TrES-4 is a monstrous planet located 1,400 light years from Earth

A team of international astronomers recently discovered the largest known planet orbiting a star outside of the Earth's solar system. A team utilizing the Transatlantic Exoplanet Survey, or TrES, first spotted the large planet in 2006, but waited for confirmation from several universities.

The planet currently orbits a star located in the Hercules constellation, located around 1,400 light years away from Earth.  Astronomers used three telescopes, two in Arizona, one in the Canary Islands, to make the discovery.

The Astrophysics Journal will publish full details about the planet.

The planet, known as TrES-4, is mainly composed of hydrogen and around 75 percent larger than Jupiter – the largest planet in the Earth's solar system. TrES-4's fiery temperature of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit makes it unlikely anything lives on the planet.  

TrES-4 completes a full revolution around its star in less than four days, meaning a standard week on Earth is the equivalent of almost two years on TrES-4.

The planet is so light astronomers believe it would be able to float on water.  The planet's density is about 0.2 grams per cubic centimeter – just a bit more than a wine cork, but less than balsa wood.

“It's a very enigmatic planet, I would say, because it's so big and has such a low density,” said Georgi Mandushev, lead author for the TrES-4 article in the Astrophysics Journal.


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Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By Hare on 8/8/2007 2:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
TrES-4's fiery temperature of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit makes it unlikely anything lives on the planet.

a "thing" living on that planet would have to be pretty buff to handle the gravity :)




RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2007 2:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
What I want to know is with such a low density, how does it remain together? There has to be something creating a magnetic field to keep it together.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By mattsaccount on 8/8/2007 3:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
Gravity?


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2007 3:19:39 PM , Rating: 1
Yes, but what is creating that gravity. With such a low density, I wouldn't think there'd be enough gravity to keep it all together.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 3:28:06 PM , Rating: 4
Two stray atoms in space will eventually drift together and remain that way-- if no other force acts to tear them apart.

Comparatively, the gravitional attraction on this planet is many trillions of times stronger. There just aren't any large-scale forces to pull it apart....some tidal effects from its primary would be about it, along with a very weak centripetal acceleration.


By encryptkeeper on 8/8/2007 3:33:45 PM , Rating: 5
How long will it take to get there at warp 5?


By Sanity on 8/8/2007 3:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How long will it take to get there at warp 5?


LOL.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By 16nm on 8/8/2007 3:55:28 PM , Rating: 4
Approximately 1.24764294802942 seconds.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By omnicronx on 8/8/2007 4:19:22 PM , Rating: 3
LOL my friend just showed me a site where they actually have the warp speed values.. apparently warp 5 is 214 times the speed of light ahaha..

so by that math it would take 6.5420560747663551401869158878505 YEARS!

whoever took the time to figure this out is a total nerd hahahaha, apparently also if you are going warp 10, your speed would be meaningless, and you would occupy all points of the universe simultaneously.. sounds like a cool acid trip.. maybe some good dope?

So i hope you've all learned your 2 totally useless, and totally nerdy facts of the day!!


By Hoser McMoose on 8/8/2007 4:40:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you would occupy all points of the universe simultaneously.. sounds like a cool acid trip.. maybe some good dope?

Improbability drive FTW!!!


By Larso on 8/9/2007 7:36:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but don't forget the Bistromathic Drive, that's just wicked!


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By coldpower27 on 8/8/2007 5:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah there is a formula to compute it actually. :) For something that far way, you need to go Warp Factor 19, which would get you there in 1.47 Days, so just a little over 35 hours. The formula allows for Wrap Factors beyond 10, it's only the factors of x0 that are asymtotes.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By Oregonian2 on 8/8/2007 6:33:06 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I remember that "warp factor" math is to be redefined at some point to take into account better understanding of the theory behind it than is to be known when it will be first defined.


By coldpower27 on 8/9/2007 1:41:36 AM , Rating: 2
Well the original math was pretty simple it was just x^3, for Warp factors, but then it was changed some point to use a different formula so Warp 9 is 1516 times the speed of light, then they needed a formula for Warp values greater then 9 and as close to 10 (Infinty) as possible where the math got much stranger.

There is also some stuff about different parts of space, Cochrane factor, the higher the better, as it increase the actual speed, of the ship, a value of 0 means the ship can't jump to Warp period.

Gotta give it to Star Trek at least they try to explain the science behind the stuff.

Shows like Stargate avoid the issue altogether Hyperspace engines in that show vary greatly in speed without the use of values at all.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By Treckin on 8/8/2007 6:59:15 PM , Rating: 3
actually, your wrong. Im a huge treckie (thus the name). Between TOS (kirk and spock for nubs) and TNG (picard etc), Starfleet reworked the warp speed scale, so that 10 was the highest possible warp speed, in which you actually do occupy all points at once. Warp 9 is 1,516 times the speed of light. Its an exponential scale, so the 9.9 is 3,053, and 9.99 is 7,912, and 9.9999 is 199,516 times c.

any how, did the article really say that the planet USUALLY orbits a star in Hercules? I think that planets which dont always orbit the same star tend to be called DEATHSTAR'S... DUH


By Slappi on 8/8/2007 9:45:00 PM , Rating: 2
NERD ALERT!!!!!!!!!


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By coldpower27 on 8/9/2007 1:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
I am completely right. There was Warp 13 used the last 2 episodes of ST: TNG. Sometime in the future Starfleet has surpassed the Warp 10 Barrier, makes perfect sense really, the Sound Barrier was breached, then Light Barrier, then Warp 10 Barrier.

http://www.ditl.org/

Click Sci-tech and TransWarp, they explain the Warp Scales pretty well beyond Warp 10.


By Ringold on 8/9/2007 5:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
Trans Warp drives were tested first on Excelsior class ships -- TOS warp scale.

Asides from one fluke Enterprise D from a parallel universe, TNG and onwards never references anything faster than warp 10, as Voyager pretty solidly lays that definitively down, as does the TNG technical manual (which I dont own, but have seen), made by Okuda, the go-to guy for all Trek-tech.

DITL does indeed explain warp speeds past 10 on the Cochrane scale, but notice the big "INFINITE" next to 10 on the TNG scale. ;) They then explain how different regions allow for better warping, increasing the relative speed in different regions, but still maintaining the same warp factor.


By defter on 8/9/2007 1:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
In Master of Orion, warp was defined as one parsec (3.2ly) per year. Thus warp 5 = 16x speed of light.


By Screwballl on 8/9/2007 11:25:55 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if Starfleet ever took in consideration the minor gravitational forces as mentioned in Isaac Asimov's book Nemesis or if it is entirely handled by the computer at that time to compensate.
I've wondered this since reading the book since there is never a mention or reference to it in any ST show or movie.


By akugami on 8/9/2007 3:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
No, no, no. Warp 5 is too slow.

We're gonna have go right to... Ludicrous Speed.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By omnicronx on 8/8/2007 3:48:53 PM , Rating: 3
Jupiter's density is about 1/4 of earth, but at the same time Jupiter weighs as much as 2.5 times all the other planets in our solar system combined.

So one could assume this thing does have a huge mass, just a very small density. More mass = more gravity ;)


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By BigT383 on 8/8/2007 4:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually that's why this planet is weird- with so much mass you'd expect it to have so much gravity that it would pull its atoms closer together and thus be much denser. Part of the reason it's not very dense has got to be because of how hot it is, but there's something going on here that isn't exactly apparent.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By Ringold on 8/8/2007 4:38:42 PM , Rating: 4
Giant alien shipyards hollowing out vast portions of the inside of the planet can do that to mass calculations.


By marvdmartian on 8/9/2007 2:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
That's not a planet......it's some sort of space station!! ;)

So then.......this thing's bigger than Uranus?? hehehe


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By aurareturn on 8/8/2007 4:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
This article is misleading. It's 1.7x the diameter of Jupiter but only 0.84 of Jupiter's mass.

By being so much larger than Jupiter, yet less massive, it's the lowest density exoplanet found to date.


By Chernobyl68 on 8/8/2007 4:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
According to nineplanets.org, jupiter is about 25% helium by mass, and it is estimated to have a rocky core of about 10-15 earth masses (which is maybe 3% of its total mass.) if this exoplanet has a much larger percentage of hydrogen by mass, and little or no rocky core, that might account for the lower density.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By lemonadesoda on 8/8/2007 4:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think there is a small theoretical problem:

"TrES-4 completes a full revolution around its star in less than four days"

with

"very weak centripetal acceleration"

= inconsistency

I can't quite fathom how such a large object, with low density, can survive the rotational speeds associated with a period of 4 days.

I think there has been an error in the calculations made by Ground Control, and they will be corrected in the near future.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 4:53:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I think there is a small theoretical problem:

"TrES-4 completes a full revolution around its star in less than four days"

with

"very weak centripetal acceleration"
The centripedal acceleration I was referring to was that from the planet's rotation around its axis. Gravitational revolution (e.g. a free orbit) doesn't generate centripedal force....that's why you're weightless while on board the space station, even though you're only 250 miles further away from the earth's surface than those of us down here.

There are tidal forces generated during revolution, but as long as a body is outside the Roche limit, those won't tear it apart.


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By BigT383 on 8/8/2007 7:29:15 PM , Rating: 1
Actually in any rotational/revolutional system there is centripetal acceleration. Since the natural tendency of any moving object is to go in a straight line (inertia), there has to be some force acting to bend that straight line into a circle. For a planet, gravity plays a major part in both cases.

As the planet revolves around the star, the star's gravity is constantly forcing the planet towards the star. Luckily for us, this is balanced by the planet's tendency to move in a straight line away from the star. Though, this planet is so close to its star there may also be some magnetic interaction.

Also, as a planet rotates on its axis, any particle not directly on that axis wants to fly away in a straight line. Again, luckily for us gravity and the electromagnetic force (through friction) conspire to keep the planet together.


By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 8:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
> "Actually in any rotational/revolutional system there is centripetal acceleration"

Technically, no. In classical mechanics, gravity is balancing the centripetal force, but by general relativity, objects are simply following a space-time geodesic; no force is acting upon them.

However, in either case, there is no apparent force upon an object revolving in orbit, and thus (no matter how fast its period) no tendency to it to be pulled apart...which is the point the OP referenced.


By Chernobyl68 on 8/8/2007 5:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
revolutions and roatations aren't the same thing. you rotate about an axis, you revolve around another object.

Also, a day on Jupiter is only about 10 hours.


By saratoga on 8/8/2007 6:32:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't quite fathom how such a large object, with low density, can survive the rotational speeds associated with a period of 4 days.


Theres this force called "gravity". When planets are in things called "orbits" it balances out the acceleration from the orbit. Quite technical, but perhaps you've heard of it?


RE: Unlikely anything lives on the planet.
By Kougar on 8/8/2007 6:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget that Saturn is also less dense than water, so Saturn would also float fairly well. It's not the overall weight of a planet that holds it together, just the quantity of the material which adds to the overall mass.


By jedisoulfly on 8/8/2007 8:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
saturn is less dense than water...if there was an ocean big enough it would float. also a person that weighs 150 lbs on earth would weigh about 136 lbs on saturn. so I am guessing that you just might weigh less on this new planet also.


???
By afkrotch on 8/8/2007 2:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
I never understand how they figure out anything about a planet that's gagillions of billions of trillions of miles away from the Earth.

How do they know it's 75% larger than Jupiter? How do they know it's mostly hydrogen? I'm not saying they are wrong, I'm just curious how they come up with that conclusion.




RE: ???
By dgingeri on 8/8/2007 3:20:38 PM , Rating: 4
First, they detect it by 'wobble'. the main star will move around due to the orbit of the planet, so they call it 'wobble'.

Then they point multiple telescopes at the planet to tell how large the planet is and how far it is from the star.

They measure the wobble and use it and the distance the planet to the start to figure out the mass of the planet.

They then use the mass of the planet and its size to find out the density.

From there, they can look at the main star's light going through the planet or reflected from the planet to find out what it is made of.


RE: ???
By Sanity on 8/8/2007 3:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
In order to determine size, they have to do a LOT of guessing. They can tell mass by the wobble, but the planet has to cross in front of the star to get any idea on size and density. As the planet crosses in front of the star, the star dims just a bit. From there they guess at the size by how much light it blocked in transit. Of course, out of all those stars out there, the vast majority of them won't have planets that pass directly between us and them, so density is not easy to guess at. There currently is no way to directly image a planet that far away. Especially ones this close to their parent stars. This all puts a LOT of guesswork into getting any facts about an extra solar planet. I'd be willing to bet that less than half of the information we think we know about these new planets is "accurate". Now if only we could build a half mile diameter optical telescope on the moon. We'd take a lot of that guesswork out of the equation.


RE: ???
By FITCamaro on 8/8/2007 3:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
Some day...when we don't let politicians who only give money to programs popular to their voting demographic determine the budget of the space program.

To me NASA should have the second largest budget of all government programs with only the military leading it. I also almost think we should roll the space program into the military's budget. But then we'd piss a lot of other countries off. Oh no. How horrible.


RE: ???
By afkrotch on 8/9/2007 7:18:48 AM , Rating: 1
About the only thing we should be doing is launching more satellites and watching out for asteroids. Aside from that, wouldn't it be more beneficial to learn more about our own planet?


RE: ???
By Gatt on 8/9/2007 1:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
At some finite point you cannot learn anything more about an object without more of the same kind of object to compare it to.

Plus, as Hawking's pointed out a number of times, if we don't find some way to start shipping population off to other worlds, we'll self-destruct.


RE: ???
By hemming on 8/8/2007 3:43:15 PM , Rating: 3
as a comedic answer:

they could use trigonometry. They have 3 physical reference points on earth, and an existing known distance to Jupiter (which isn't needed but fun to have).

Gasp ... math could be useful!


RE: ???
By 16nm on 8/8/2007 4:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They measure the wobble and use it and the distance the planet to the start to figure out the mass of the planet.

What good is measuring the wobble when you do not know the mass of the star? I don't really understand how wobble tells the scientists anything. I have heard the term before, however, just don't see how it is useful this way.


RE: ???
By BigT383 on 8/8/2007 4:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
If you can measure the speed of the star's wobble, you know how fast the planet orbits. From that you can tell how far away the planet is. Then, from the distance that you got and HOW MUCH the star wobbles, you can determine the mass of the planet.


RE: ???
By 16nm on 8/8/2007 4:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
I know it is not an exact science. BUT, the wobble is created from the mass of the planet in question, correct? What about wobble due to other planets in that solar system? For example, let's say some aliens, like Darth Vadar and son Luke, are spending Father's Day together looking at our little solar system trying to measure our star's wobble created by our planet, Earth, would the wobble not be scewed due to all the other planets in our solar system? Or does this only really work on solar systems with a single planet? Questions, questions, questions... Perhaps I should just wiki it.


RE: ???
By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 4:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
> "What about wobble due to other planets in that solar system? "

Each will have its own period obviously, depending on that particular planet's orbital rate. The result is a composite "wobble" containining multiple frequencies, which one can separate out with fourier analysis or some other technique.


RE: ???
By dgingeri on 8/8/2007 5:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I was trying to keep it simple enough for someone to understand the basics, not write a scientific paper about the whole thing.

I never said that was all of it, but it got the basics across.

Oh, and the wobble of a star is not dependent on the mass of the star itself and only dependent on the mass of the orbiting bodies and the volumes of each of those bodies.

Also, the orbiting bodies cause wobble proportionate to the inverse square of their distance, so something twice as far away would cause a quarter of the wobble, roughly. the equations are quite complex, and it doesn't work out to a true square relationship on an object with any volume, so I'm not going to get into that much detail. Therefore any other planets can be ruled out mathematically, if they are known.

I'm sure they go through a lot more math than I have talked about. They probably spend months trying to figure these things out.


RE: ???
By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 5:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't quibbling with your original post, just going into more depth for the person above. However, this bit:

quote:
Oh, and the wobble of a star is not dependent on the mass of the star itself
Is incorrect. Both the magnitude of the wobble and its exact position (the center of gravity of the two-body system) is dependent on the star's mass.

The period of the wobble isn't directly dependent on the star's mass...but since it depends on the period of the revolving body (which itself is a function of stellar mass) it is an indirect function of this as well.


RE: ???
By stromgald on 8/8/2007 4:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
They might also be looking at the EM spectrum that the planet or star gives off. I know they've done this with stars and with celestial bodies in our solar system. Basically, by looking at the EM radiation that a sun gives off, they can make an pretty good guess on the perecentage of hydrogen, helium, etc, that make up the star or planet.


RE: ???
By 16nm on 8/8/2007 4:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
That makes a lot of sense. I remember seeing or reading about this technology.

Are stars pretty much always made from the same elements? That's pretty interesting stuff. It is amazing how the universe fits together. OK, I'm going to return to my universe now, a.k.a work.


RE: ???
By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 5:09:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "Are stars pretty much always made from the same elements? "

Stars are big fusion reactors; they make elements within themselves. Young stars are almost entirely hydrogen, which burns to form helium, which burns to form carbon, oxygen, and other heavier elements, and so on all the way up to nickel and iron (which are too tightly-bound to fuse further). Even heavier elements are made in trace quantities through neutron capture reactions.

The older the star, the more rich it is in elements beyond hydrogen.


RE: ???
By 16nm on 8/9/2007 9:26:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "Are stars pretty much always made from the same elements? "

Stars are big fusion reactors;


Yes, they are. I knew that but thanks for reminding me.


RE: ???
By DallasTexas on 8/8/2007 3:44:12 PM , Rating: 4
Well, they look at Uranus and multiply it by Pi. Then, they say it's so frigg'n far away that you will never ever be able to dispute the find. Very simple.


RE: ???
By 16nm on 8/8/07, Rating: -1
"currently" orbits a star located...?
By incompleteunit on 8/8/2007 2:52:54 PM , Rating: 4
Gets around a bit does it?




RE: "currently" orbits a star located...?
By Spivonious on 8/8/2007 3:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
heh

I was going to say something about the currently as well. Since it's 1400 light years away, doesn't that mean that it was orbiting the star 1400 years ago?


By rdeegvainl on 8/9/2007 2:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
So i guess we are watching 1400 year old reruns of reality tv shows of the biggest stars in another galaxy.wonder what will happen next, or what already did happen next. i wonder what they will think of us in 1400 years.


Define "life"..
By xdrol on 8/8/2007 2:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
"TrES-4's fiery temperature of 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit makes it unlikely anything as we know of lives on the planet." Don't insult EM lifeforms :)




RE: Define "life"..
By Ringold on 8/8/2007 4:44:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, we are quite happy here and would appreciate not being bothered.

-Organians


RE: Define "life"..
By hubajube on 8/8/2007 5:26:39 PM , Rating: 3
There would be no POINT in you coming here.

-Ballchinians


Gas giant?
By DeepBlue1975 on 8/8/2007 3:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe one of those star wannabe planets that got its inspiration cut in the middle of the process?
Such a low density talks about very gas, and such a high temperature plus the great size suggest size expansion due to intense gas reaction activity.




RE: Gas giant?
By afkrotch on 8/8/2007 3:15:34 PM , Rating: 1
You mean, like a star that's not on fire?


RE: Gas giant?
By Goty on 8/8/2007 6:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
AKA a brown dwarf. Not really a star due to the fact that it can't sustain nuclear fusion, too massive to be considered a planet.


RE: Gas giant?
By dgingeri on 8/8/2007 3:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
gas giants generally don't have nearly enough mass to start stellar fusion, so they don't necessarily get interrupted, but rather just don't get enough mass to do so.


Tiers of Physics unknown to us?
By TimberJon on 8/8/2007 5:51:55 PM , Rating: 1
I believe, without having any extracirricular mathematics, physics, or astronautical education... that there are tiers of physical laws that are unknown to us, but that are possible to unlock. Perhaps we are still stuck behind tier 2, and tier 1 was the sound barrier. But breaking the sound barrier doesnt really open up whole new levels of physics or understanding. So then I would go back to the human race being stuck behind tier 1. There are probably forces active out there that do things that our base knowledge cannot calculate, like this gaseous planet that holds its form, and therefore we tag them with words like "impossible" or "enigmatic".

Hopefully we will do more research to try to discount the laws that we know, to see if anything new pops up.

I remember a while ago, and Chris maybe you know this one, that observers found two planets out in the middle of nowhere, following an orbit when there was no primary star to hold them to it.
I didnt do a search but I remember that many people I knew mentioned it to me, and how it just baffled scientists and astrophysicists.




RE: Tiers of Physics unknown to us?
By Goty on 8/8/2007 6:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's guaranteed that there's a hell of a lot about physics that we don't know. Physics is as close to being a complete science as anything else out there, but there's still a lot we don't understand.

As to having two planetary object orbiting out in the middle of nowhere (for lack of a better term), they could have been bodies bound to a system that was disturbed by a passing star. It wouldn't be too hard to destabilize an orbit enough to send a planet or two flying out into interstellar space.


RE: Tiers of Physics unknown to us?
By 3kliksphilip on 8/8/2007 7:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently E = mc² proves that things traveling at the speed of light have infinite mass, therefore it's impossible to increase its speed any more. Light doesn't obey this for some reason. If somebody could explain how the equation proves the infinite mass thing, I'd be thankful.

I love physics. It's so full of holes and predictions that there MUST be a perpetual motion machine out there waiting to be made. You can also make Mum jokes that nobody else can understand, 'Your Mum doesn't need to be traveling at the speed of light to have infinite mass' etc. I don't know where this could fit in to the topic, but surely you could find out how quickly we're flying through space by measuring how quickly light travels from one place to another, then back again. Because the Earth is moving at a considerable rate, surely one of the times must be smaller than the other (because the light is heading one way and the Earth the other). Just some of my thoughts. I'm so bored.


By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 8:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apparently E = mc² proves that things traveling at the speed of light have infinite mass, therefore it's impossible to increase its speed any more. Light doesn't obey this for some reason. If somebody could explain how the equation proves the infinite mass thing, I'd be thankful.
Special relativity starts with 2 simple postulates. Simplifying a bit, they are:

1. There is no such thing as a "stationary" state. It all depends on your frame of reference.
2. The speed of light is always the same, no matter how fast you're moving when you measure it, or how fast the light source is itself moving.

From those two simple principles, one can work out a whole host of surprising results. One is that moving objects appear to shorten, to gain mass, and to have their clocks move slower. I say "appear" because if you're the one doing the moving, its everyone else that appears to change (its all relative, remember?)

A second consequence is the equivalence of mass and energy, which is expressed as E = mc². But rather than saying that equation "proves" that the speed of light is a universal speed limit, its more correct to say that the equation and the speed limit are both proven by the two postulates given above.

quote:
surely you could find out how quickly we're flying through space by measuring how quickly light travels from one place to another, then back again. Because the Earth is moving at a considerable rate, surely one of the times must be smaller than the other
That's a great thought! In fact over 100 years ago, two famous physicists (Michelson and Morley) tried just that experiment. It proved that you CAN'T tell how fast the earth is moving...a confusing result that Einstein used as his first postulate in developing special relativity.


Ummm...
By JWalk on 8/8/2007 2:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
TrES-4 completes a full revolution around its star in less than four days, meaning a standard week on Earth is the equivalent of one year on TrES-4.


Umm, correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this mean that a standard week on Earth would equal more like 2 years on TrES-4? That is unless I missed the announcement that 4 days now equal a standard week. ;)




RE: Ummm...
By littleprince on 8/8/2007 3:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just remove that stupid part anyways? Its like trying to say the same thing in 2 different ways.

4 days on earth is like 1 yr there. 8 days on earth is like 2 and so on..


RE: Ummm...
By elpresidente2075 on 8/8/2007 5:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that the term "year" is defined as one revolution around the planet's main star. In this case, TrES-4's "year" is equivalent to approx. 4 Earth days.

The concept of time does not change the farther out in space you get. The definition of the words that we use to refer to time changes, but not the time itself. And no, there (as far as we earthlings know) is no "Intergalactic Standard Time" or whatever you'd like to term it. We haven't gotten that far into space yet.


I Come In Peace !!
By sirius4k on 8/9/2007 4:56:27 AM , Rating: 2
I almost agree with FITCamaro... Science projects, specially these that are driven by NASA, should have unlimited amount of resources. NOT for military use. There's plenty of time for a Deathstar III :/

PS! When will they start with the moon base program?

And May The Force be With You!




RE: I Come In Peace !!
By Dfere on 8/9/2007 8:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
China has. Why don't you ask them not to build the deathstar III.


RE: I Come In Peace !!
By Ringold on 8/9/2007 5:15:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
NOT for military use.


Everybody can militarize space.. but us. Good plan.


TrES 4
By slayerized on 8/8/2007 4:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
What are the other 3 planetary objects that TrES has spotted?




RE: TrES 4
By masher2 (blog) on 8/8/2007 4:59:26 PM , Rating: 2
TrES-3 was noteworthy as it orbited its primary in only 31 hours, which (I think) was another record as well. I don't remember any news releases about the first two finds.


FTL drive
By gus6464 on 8/9/2007 1:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
What's the fastest warp speed the FTL drive on the Galactica can go?




RE: FTL drive
By Ringold on 8/9/2007 5:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, it'd be warp 10, since it moves instantly between points.. Second, they've never explicitly said what it's range is, probably never will -- they consciously try to avoid technobabble.


Hmm
By Slappi on 8/8/2007 9:47:52 PM , Rating: 1
The actual temp on the planet is 2302 degrees. Please fix it. Thanks!




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