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The new planet discoveries were made thanks to the NASA Hubble Space Telescope

Astronomers have announced that the NASA Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a number of extra-solar planets deep in the Milky Way.  The discovery was made during the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search, also known as SWEEPS.  The light of 180,000 stars were monitored over one week to try and see any dimming that would occur from the passing of a planet.  The newly discovered bodies are at least 10 times as far from Earth as the more than 200 planets already discovered outside of our solar system.


 The 16 planet candidates are orbiting numerous stars in the central region of the Milky Way galaxy.  Calculations have shown that at least seven of the bodies can easily qualify as planets.  One of planet candidates circles close enough to its star that the planet’s surface temperature is more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.  As many as five of the newly discovered planets are able to orbit their home stars in less than a day – one of them is able to do it in 10 hours, according to astronomers.  The fastest planet in our solar system, Mercury, is able to orbit around the Sun in 88 days.


None of the planet candidates can be confirmed as planets until the NASA James Webb Space Telescope is launched in 2013.

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RE: Are they liveable :?
By ADDAvenger on 10/5/2006 12:57:11 PM , Rating: 2
Oh we've been capable of extra-solar flight since the '60s, it's just that nobody wants to do it. I don't mean that we built the ships, but we built scale models and had the plans laid out. Look up "Project Orion (Nuclear propulsion)" on wikipedia.

RE: Are they liveable :?
By FITCamaro on 10/5/2006 4:38:44 PM , Rating: 3
The ability to travel outside our solar system doesn't mean we can go anywhere quickly. Even at light speed it'd take way too long to get anywhere. The only way we'll ever get out of our own solar system is if we find a way to get around the laws of physics and go faster than the speed of light. I'm sure it can be done, we just haven't discovered it yet.

The biggest problem we have is generating enough power though. We'd need a propulsion system, and a power source capable to drive it, that can get between star systems in a few weeks to a few months before interstellar travel really ever became feasible. Pray the Vulcan's find us.

RE: Are they liveable :?
By MarkHark on 10/5/2006 8:26:17 PM , Rating: 2
Besides power generation, another problem at least as big is momentum conservation. To accelerate a starship to very high (near-light) speeds, an equal amount of matter would have to be expelled in the opposite direction, at similar near-light speeds. Another equivalent amount would be needed to decelerate it in arrival, unless one plans on crashing the ship directly over the planet's surface.

RE: Are they liveable :?
By Wwhat on 10/7/2006 4:28:31 PM , Rating: 1
How much money and effort and time did it take to get ISS in a low orbit with a few people onboard while the planet was working?
Guess the idea is to send an Adam and Eve in this scenario then eh.

Incidentally, I like that idea, crash the ship on the planet at lightspeed, destroying the planet and the people in it in the process, how apt, it's a blitz-human civilisation, cut the chaff do the whole thing in one go.

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