Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SPUTNIK -- NASA: Seven Earth-Sized Exoplanets Orbiting Nearby Star Discovered

This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1f, one of the newly discovered planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system. Scientists using the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes have discovered that there are seven Earth-size planets in the system.

NASA: Seven Earth-Sized Exoplanets Orbiting Nearby Star Discovered

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Seven Earth-sized planets have been detected orbiting a single star, a new record. Although not much is known about any of the individual planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1, astronomers consider it possible for life to have evolved on any of them.

Three of the seven planets discovered were in TRAPPIST-1's "habitable" zone, meaning it would be easy for liquid water to develop on those planets, under the right atmospheric conditions. But the other four might still have water if their atmospheres are thick enough to trap heat in the same way Venus's atmosphere does.
TRAPPIST-1 was first discovered by Belgian astronomers in late 2015 using the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. It caught the attention of NASA, who teamed up with a Belgian team out of the University of Liège to more closely study the ultracool dwarf star using the American Spitzer Space Telescope.
This artist's concept shows what each of the TRAPPIST-1 planets may look like, based on available data about their sizes, masses and orbital distances.
This artist's concept shows what each of the TRAPPIST-1 planets may look like, based on available data about their sizes, masses and orbital distances.
What they found was astonishing. "The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system," wrote NASA in a news release. "All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone."
"The planets are all close to each other and very close to the star, which is very reminiscent of the moons around Jupiter," Belgian team lead Michaël Gillon said. "Still, the star is so small and cold that the seven planets are temperate, which means that they could have some liquid water — and maybe life, by extension — on the surface."
Gillon explained that never before has a system with three planets in its habitable zone been discovered. The Sun has two: Earth and Mars, plus the dwarf planet Ceres in the asteroid belt.
This is an artist’s impression of the TRAPPIST-1 system, showcasing all seven planets in various phases.
This is an artist’s impression of the TRAPPIST-1 system, showcasing all seven planets in various phases.
TRAPPIST-1 is 40 light-years from Earth, but its very low mass and heat make it hard to study. It is only 8 percent as massive as the Sun and just 500 million years old, an infant by stellar standards.
But as telescopes improve, TRAPPIST-1's dimness actually worked to astronomer's advantage. One of the central issues when hunting for exoplanets is that their own reflected light is often drowned out by the much brighter light of their parent stars.
Spitzer is an infrared telescope, and it observed TRAPPIST-1 for over 500 hours to confirm the seven planets. "This is the most exciting result I have seen in the 14 years of Spitzer operations," said Sean Carey, manager of NASA's Spitzer Science Center. 
This picture shows the Sun and the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 to scale. The faint star has only 11% of the diameter of the sun and is much redder in color.
This picture shows the Sun and the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 to scale. The faint star has only 11% of the diameter of the sun and is much redder in color.
Spitzer, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope, have begun their hunt to identify the gases necessary for life, such as oxygen and methane, on the seven planets. NASA's bleeding-edge James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in October 2018, will make this search far easier.
"The James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble's successor, will have the possibility to detect the signature of ozone if this molecule is present in the atmosphere of one of these planets," said study co-author Professor Brice-Olivier Demory with the University of Bern in Switzerland. "This could be an indicator for biological activity on the planet."
Demory added that the only way to know for sure if there is life on a distant planet would be to directly communicate with or observe it. When Earth was 500 million years old, life was extremely simplistic, if it existed at all. Even if one or more of TRAPPIST-1's planets has organics, they are unlikely to be complex.
This poster imagines what a trip to TRAPPIST-1e might be like.
This poster imagines what a trip to TRAPPIST-1e might be like.
Still, the find is exciting. NASA has identified 3,449 exoplanets, almost all of them in recent years. If life arose quickly on a young Earth, it is likely that at least a few of those uncovered by human space agencies also have organisms present. 
"Could any of the [TRAPPIST-1] planets harbour life? We simply do not know," wrote Ignas Snellen, a Dutch astronomer with Leiden Observatory, in a comment on the original paper. "But one thing is certain: in a few billion years, when the Sun has run out of fuel and the Solar System has ceased to exist, TRAPPIST-1 will still be only an infant star. It burns hydrogen so slowly that it will live for another 10 trillion years… which is arguably enough time for life to evolve."

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:

Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:

Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.



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