Discovered two planets that share the same orbit


01/03/2011

In the vast flow of information, which is transmitted by the Kepler telescope detected a previously unseen solar system. Two planets in the system, share with each other the same orbit around their star. If the discovery is confirmed, it will confirm the theory that Earth once shared an orbit with a celestial body the size of Mars, and after their collision formed the Moon.

The two planets are part of a system consisting of four planets, called KOI-730. They make spiral around its parent star for 9.8 days and reside on the same orbital distance, one of the planets 60 degrees continuously ahead of the other. In the night sky of a planet, the other looks like a constantly flickering light that never dims and brightens.

This phenomenon is explained by the existence of gravitational "parking" - the Lagrange points. These are the points at which the body (in this case - the planet), rotating around two much more massive bodies than it (in this case - the planets and stars), could be in a stable condition and does not move relative to the two massive bodies . They are at 60 degrees to the front and 60 degrees behind the less massive object. For example, a group of asteroids called Trojan asteroids of Jupiter, are in these locations.

In theory, matter in the form of a disc, which is located around the newborn star, can be collected in collaboration with the orbit of the planet, but direct evidence was obtained only now. "Systems like this are rare - this is the first which we noticed," - said Jack Lissaur from Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. He and his colleagues described a system KOI-730 in an article published in the journal Astrophysical Journal.

Richard Gott and Edward Belbruno of Princeton University, said that the phenomenon could occur with the Earth. It is believed that the moon appeared 50 million years after the birth of the solar system from the debris that formed after the collision of the Earth and the object, the size is comparable to Mars. Simulations show that the impactor, called Theia, had to go on a low speed. According to Gott and Belbruno, it could only happen in the event that Teja was originally located at the leading or trailing Lagrange point, which lies in the orbit of the Earth. Current discovery "shows that such things can happen," - said Gott.

Face to the world, on the same orbit in the KOI-730, forming a satellite? "It would be effectively" - said Gott. It may be so, but Bob Vanderbeya simulation of Princeton, show that they will be in a tight configuration with respect to each other, at least 2.22 million years.

Original: Newscientist


Astronomers discover new scientific methods to detect unknown exoplanets
Lunar technology: the leap into the future
Next U.S. crash Phobos-Soil
NASA will launch nanosatellites running smartphones
Best "space photography", indicated by astronauts and scientists