The latest posts tagged with moonThursday — March 29, 2012
This post was reblogged from Physics Pics.
A new planet found last fall may be orbiting two stars, but it’s far from a real-life Tatooine. Dubbed Kepler-16b, the world is a cold, Saturn-size gas giant with little chance of hosting desert farmers like the fictional Star Wars world.
But according to new computer simulations, the Kepler-16 stars may still shine on a world fit for life—a hypothetical Earthlike moon orbiting Kepler-16b.
Kepler-16b was discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which looks for dips in starlight as a planet transits—or passes in front of—a star, as seen from Earth.
For the new study, Billy Quarles, a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington, and colleagues simulated several possible configurations for a theoretical Earth-mass world in the Kepler-16 system.
The team started by drawing up a “laundry list of parameters” for defining the habitable zone—the region around a star where a planet gets enough heat to host liquid water, essential for life as we know it—Quarles said Monday during a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas. (Read More)
This post was reblogged from DiscoveryNews.