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September 28, 2011

Invisible Planets Become Visible

Astronomers are no longer limited to being able to physically see planets. They noticed that a certain exoplanet, although not able to be seen, is recognized because of its influence on another exoplanet. Specifically, Kepler-19 (a star) orbits another exoplanet. Astronomers noticed a strange irregularity in Kepler-19's orbit, thus concluding that there must be a gravitational pull of another planet's orbit that interferes. It is a liberating method, allowing many more planets to be discovered, if not seen.

Read the full article at: http://news.discovery.com/space/kepler-discovers-phantom-menace-110909.html

Posted by ballo at September 28, 2011 04:41 PM


What makes certain planets able to be seen and others not?

Posted by: charwei at September 29, 2011 04:29 PM

It's amazing that new planets are being discovered every day. I'm not sure what makes certain planets able to be seen but it might have something to do with the distance. Also, it's amazing that this was the first time they were able to discover a planet based on the gravatational influence that another planet was experiencing.

Posted by: mrkapila at September 30, 2011 08:52 PM

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