viernes, enero 11, 2013

El planeta KOI 172.02

El telescopio Kepler de la NASA ha encontrado un planeta, fuera del Sistema Solar, que es el más parecido a la Tierra de todos los gemelos del nuestro planeta y que podría albergar vida, según los astrónomos. El planeta ha sido denominado KOI 172.02, donde las tres primeras letras significan 'Kepler Object of Interest' (Un Objeto de Interés de Kepler, por sus siglas en inglés), prefijo, que dan a todos los planetas encontrados por el telescopio hasta que su existencia sea confirmada.
El cuerpo celeste, cuya existencia espera comprobación, orbita en la zona de habitabilidad de una estrella, parecida al Sol. Esto significa que KOI 172.02 podría tener una gravedad similar a la de la Tierra y contener agua en su superficie, lo que le convierte en el primer candidato a albergar vida extraterrestre.

Los astrónomos, que han presentado esta información ante la Sociedad Astronómica de Estados Unidos, indican que el planeta orbita una estrella del tipo G, que es un poco menos cálida que nuestro Sol.

El análisis de los datos obtenidos por el Kepler indica que el objeto tarda 242 días para orbirtar su sol, del cual se encuentra a tres cuartos de la distancia de la Tierra al Sol.

“Es muy emocionante porque es la primera 'supertierra' que se ubica en una zona de habitabilidad cerca de una estrella del tipo de nuestro Sol. Anteriormente los que hemos encontrado orbitaban estrellas de otro tipo”, comenta Natalie Batalha, una astrónoma de la NASA. El astrofísico Mario Livio, del 'Space Telescope Science Institute' en Baltimore (EE.UU.) señaló al portal SPACE.com que "Es un candidato realmente bueno para albergar vida”.

Últimamente los especialistas de la NASA anunciaron la existencia de 461 nuevos planetas potenciales, descubiertos por la misión Kepler. De acuerdo con los científicos, la mayoría de estos 'candidatos' son de un tamaño similar al de la Tierra o algo mayores.
 
[Image: Artist’s conception of KOI-172.02, as compared to Earth]
NASA.gov:


NASA’S Kepler Mission Discovers 461 New Planet Candidates
WASHINGTON — NASA’s Kepler mission Monday announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates. Four of the potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun’s “habitable zone,” the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet. 
One of the four newly identified super Earth-size planet candidates, KOI-172.02, orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The possible planet is approximately 1.5 times the radius of Earth and orbits its host star every 242 days. Additional follow-up analysis will be required to confirm the candidate as a planet. 
Based on observations conducted from May 2009 to March 2011, the findings show a steady increase in the number of smaller-size planet candidates and the number of stars with more than one candidate. 
“There is no better way to kickoff the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life bearing worlds,” said Christopher Burke, Kepler scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who is leading the analysis. 
Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively. 
The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467. Today, 43 percent of Kepler’s planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets. 
“The large number of multi-candidate systems being found by Kepler implies that a substantial fraction of exoplanets reside in flat multi-planet systems,” said Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “This is consistent with what we know about our own planetary neighborhood.” 


Said astrophysicist Mario Livio


“It’s a big deal — It’s definitely a good candidate for life. … Maybe there’s no land life, but perhaps very clever dolphins.”
NASA’S Kepler Mission Discovers 461 New Planet Candidates
WASHINGTON — NASA’s Kepler mission Monday announced the discovery of 461 new planet candidates. Four of the potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun’s “habitable zone,” the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet.
One of the four newly identified super Earth-size planet candidates, KOI-172.02, orbits in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The possible planet is approximately 1.5 times the radius of Earth and orbits its host star every 242 days. Additional follow-up analysis will be required to confirm the candidate as a planet.
Based on observations conducted from May 2009 to March 2011, the findings show a steady increase in the number of smaller-size planet candidates and the number of stars with more than one candidate.
“There is no better way to kickoff the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life bearing worlds,” said Christopher Burke, Kepler scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who is leading the analysis.
Since the last Kepler catalog was released in February 2012, the number of candidates discovered in the Kepler data has increased by 20 percent and now totals 2,740 potential planets orbiting 2,036 stars. The most dramatic increases are seen in the number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates discovered, which grew by 43 and 21 percent respectively.
The new data increases the number of stars discovered to have more than one planet candidate from 365 to 467. Today, 43 percent of Kepler’s planet candidates are observed to have neighbor planets.
“The large number of multi-candidate systems being found by Kepler implies that a substantial fraction of exoplanets reside in flat multi-planet systems,” said Jack Lissauer, planetary scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. “This is consistent with what we know about our own planetary neighborhood.”
Said astrophysicist Mario Livio

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"Odio los fluidos que se me salen del cuerpo cada veintiséis días." Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (Guaynabo, 1970). Es novelista, cuentista y ensayista puertorriqueña. Fue elegida una de las escritoras latinoamericanas más importantes menores de 39 años del Bogotá39 convocado por la UNESCO, el Hay Festival y la Secretaría de Cultura de Bogotá por motivo de celebrar a Bogotá como Capital Mundial del libro 2007. Acaba de recibir Residency Grant Award 2011 del National Hispanic Cultural Center en Nuevo México. Es autora de los libros de cuentos, ‘Avalancha’ (2011), ‘Historias para morderte los labios’ (Finalista PEN Club 2010), y ‘Ojos de Luna’ (Segundo Premio Nacional 2008, Instituto de Literatura Puertorriqueña; Libro del Año 2007 Periódico El Nuevo Día), además de los libros de poesía ‘Medialengua’ (2010) y Perseidas (2011). Ha publicado las novelas ‘Los documentados’ (Finalista Premio PEN Club 2006) y Caparazones (2010, publicada en Puerto Rico y España).

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