New planet discovered

From A University of California Santa Barbara press release: International Team of Scientists Reports Discovery of a New Planet

Planet CoRoT-9b - artist rendering from UCSB

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– An international team of scientists, including several who are affiliated with UC Santa Barbara, has discovered a new planet the size of Jupiter. The finding is published in the March 18 issue of the journal Nature.

The planet, called CoRoT-9b, was discovered by using the CoRoT space telescope satellite, operated by the French space agency, The Centre National d’Études Spatiales, or CNES. The newly discovered planet orbits a star similar to our sun and is located in the constellation Serpens Cauda, at a distance of 1500 light-years from Earth.

The European-led discovery involved 60 astronomers worldwide. The team included UCSB postdoctoral fellow Avi Shporer, who also works with the UCSB-affiliated Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGT), based in Goleta, California. Three more LCOGT scientists –– Tim Lister, Rachel Street, and Marton Hidas –– also contributed.

“CoRoT-9b is the first transiting extrasolar planet that is definitely similar to a planet in our solar system, namely Jupiter,” said Shporer. “What is special about this planet is that it transits a star, and it is a temperate planet. It has great potential for future studies concerning its physical characteristics and atmosphere.” The planet is mostly made of hydrogen and helium, but may contain up to 20 Earth masses of heavier elements including rock and water under high pressure. It thus appears to be very similar to the solar system’s giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn.

A transit occurs when a celestial body passes in front of its host star and blocks some of the star’s light. This type of eclipse causes a small drop in the apparent brightness of the star and enables the planet’s mass, diameter, density, and temperature to be deduced. CoRoT-9b takes 95 Earth days to orbit its star. This is about 10 times longer than that of any planet previously discovered by the transit method.

The CoRoT satellite identified the planet after 150 days of continuous observation in the summer of 2008. The discovery of the planet was verified by ground-based telescopes. Those include the two-meter Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Faulkes Telescope North (FTN), located on Mt. Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui. “Since a transit occurs only once every 95 days, FTN was at the right place at the right time to observe the transit in September 2009, thereby confirming the CoRoT detection,” said Shporer.

He explained that while temperate gas giants are so far the largest known group of planets, CoRoT-9b is the first transiting planet of this kind. The discovery will lead to a better understanding of such commonly occurring planets and open up a new field of research on the atmospheres of moderate and low temperature planets.

Shporer notes that the study of planets outside our solar system is rapidly progressing. “Only 25 years ago no extrasolar planets were known, and today we know of more than 400,” he said. “Undoubtedly, many more exciting discoveries await in the future.”

The CoRoT space telescope satellite is named for “convection, rotation, and transits.” France, Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, and the European Space Agency (ESA) contributed to the telescope. It was specifically designed to detect transiting exoplanets and carry out seismological studies of stars. Its results are supplemented by observations from several ground-based telescopes, including the IAC-80 Teide Observatory, Canary Islands, Spain; the Canada France Hawaii Telescope, Hawaii; the Isaac Newton Telescope, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, Canary Islands, Spain; the Swiss Euler telescope, Chile; the Faulkes Telescope North, Hawaii, part of the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network; and, the ESO 3.6m telescope, Chile.

The Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network is constructing a network of telescopes for monitoring variable stars and explosions on the sky. In a long-term collaboration with UC Santa Barbara, LCOGT has already constructed the Byrne Observatory at UC’s Sedgwick Reserve and supports collaborative research on extrasolar planets, transients, and supernovae with UCSB scientists.

Avi Shporer received his B.A. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. He recently began a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Physics at UCSB, and is affiliated with the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network.

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163 thoughts on “New planet discovered

  1. I am sure if the heat is too high, we can ask for gubment relo assistance and live where the evil conservatives haven’t polluted it and destroyed it.

    Seriously. From a science standpoint, we have no controlled studies for climate experiments. A planet that has had no forrest fires, dirty cars or coal power gives a clean lab site. Vunder how their tree rings look?

  2. hmmm … I’m not going to commit to belief until I study the evidence

    150 days of continuous observation is not enough time to verify the slightly altered spiral of the path of the parent star in the galaxy that arises from the angular momentum couple of the planet and star, at this distance

  3. Temperate? What do they mean by that in this context? That it is in the Goldilocks zone? They say the most common class thus far, but that is hot Jovians, not Jovians in the Goldilocks zone.

  4. Please send more money so we can provide evidence of more first time discoveries! Just yesterday they discovered a dust mote near their desk that will require 5 years of study to determine how dust motes form. This is an important discovery as “Dust Motes” were not believed to exist in this location.
    Planets of many types are known to exist and it was only necessary to use better methods to find them. Again this sounds more like a request for funding that a paper reporting on the results of research.

  5. “This is an important discovery as “Dust Motes” were not believed to exist in this location.”

    Are there “Moties” there?

  6. Doug in Seattle (08:55:44) :

    It seem to be a rather fast orbit for gas giant.
    —————————————

    I hope that doesn’t mean that it’s going to fling it self through space !!!!!!!!

  7. Brian G Valentine (08:42:59) :
    150 days of continuous observation is not enough time to verify
    They discover planets by the dimming [eclipse] of the star as the planet moves across the star seen from us. Just like we can discover the moon by watching a solar eclipse. This is not about belief, but about a simple, direct observation.

    Doug in Seattle (08:55:44) :
    It seem to be a rather fast orbit for gas giant.
    All the other ones were faster. Gas giants can be that close.

  8. Very cool.

    I like how they made an observation then proceeded to verify it with further observations.

    I assume that, in this case, “temperate” means that it’s not giving off much of it’s own heat? Meaning that it’s clearly a planet and not a proto-star of some kind?

  9. I vaguely remember a theory that was kicking around some years ago that went something like:
    If you had a telescope powerful enough to see to the end of the universe, you would be looking at the back of our head.

    Are we sure that we’re not looking back upon our own solar system ;>)

  10. 150 days of continuous observation is not enough time to verify
    They discover planets by the dimming [eclipse] of the star as the planet moves across the star seen from us. Just like we can discover the moon by watching a solar eclipse. This is not about belief, but about a simple, direct observation

    I’ll take some of your contradictions directed at me Leif, not that one. Star diameters can be inferred from an interferometer, but excepting possibly for the red giant Betelgeuse, stars are points, independently of magnification from Earth, and although “dimming” of a star from eclipse of a rotating object suggests a planet, there are numerous other explanations possible, and if a planet revolves around a star, than that star’s track is a very slightly adjusted helix in the galaxy, and that is the only confirmation that proves it as far as I know.

    Period.

  11. Discovered by an international team, huh?

    I bet it doesn’t get reclassified as a “dwarf planet” anytime soon…

    Who wants to bet this story would be different if this had been discovered by a US American

    Such as, and…

    /sarcoff :P

  12. “They discover planets by the dimming [eclipse] of the star as the planet moves across the star seen from us”

    ..or they are having a “save the planet” lights-out moment?

  13. Why is it that our forefathers had greater imagination in naming planets & stars. Names like Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Sirius, Betelgeuse, Rigel, etc. How romantic is CoRoT-9b, just rolls off the old tongue doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s some sort of PC ruling to avoid offending the inhabitants in case they get rather upset. “Greetings, & welcome to our world, CoRoT-9b! Come & meet the rest of us CoRoT-9b-ians! You must be from that little blue planet 1,500 light-years away we call Fullocrapheads-14e?”

    I know there are billions of stars & (very likely 95%) zillions of planets, but surely they could use a little imagination?

  14. A lot of the planets we’ve been finding are super hot super-Jupiters that are orbiting their stars at very close distances. Many of them seem to be failed binary star systems. So, even though this is again a large Jupiter sized planet, it’s interesting in that it is fairly far from its star.

  15. One of these days we will find a rocky planet in the “comfort zone” -then we
    pick up broadcasts that loosely translate to: “Alblix Glower, deposed head of the
    high council has declared himself Profit-and his tome, “Ferth in the jaws of
    Peril” be considered as holy scripture.”-“This is taken by the Ferthian People
    as a very funny joke,as no one could be that stupid.” “However the some
    farmers consider Alblix to be a Rain god….”

  16. Alan, it could be worse. We could have corporate naming rights for ‘adopt a planet’. Might provide additional income for astronomers, might also upset the natives if and when we ever get back into space. SF authors who predicted Chinese dominance of the ‘High Frontier’ may have been correct.

    Now back to convincing some friends to chip in and buy an RCOS 32″ to play with. Technology’s made this fun, can time share instruments with friends and family, not to mention the local school.

  17. Neptune by the way was very nearly named LeVerrier – in honor of the ego of one of the people who predicted Neptune’s existence from a study of the perturbations to the predicted orbit of Uranus.

    [The other prediction was made nearly simultaneously and independently by John Couch Adams of England – the same Adams famous for his fourth order approximation to the solution of initial value problems of ordinary differential equations)

    In any case LeVerrier was first recognized in Europe for the discovery, and so was given the opportunity to name the planet, which he chose as Neptune, but his ego got the best of him, and he petitioned to have the planet named after him,

    – the great C F Gauss had to step in and proclaim, that the name Neptune was quite adequate.

    By the way the 21-year old Adams was never credited properly for the discovery, which was the result of the intransigence of the Royal Astronomer of the time, Geroge Biddell Airy

  18. What is the brightness amd heat output of CoRot-9B’s star? That is, could an earth-sixed planet orbit it?

  19. Brian G Valentine wrote at 10:04:37:

    I’ll take some of your contradictions directed at me Leif, not that one. Star diameters can be inferred from an interferometer, but excepting possibly for the red giant Betelgeuse, stars are points, independently of magnification from Earth, and although “dimming” of a star from eclipse of a rotating object suggests a planet, there are numerous other explanations possible, and if a planet revolves around a star, than that star’s track is a very slightly adjusted helix in the galaxy, and that is the only confirmation that proves it as far as I know.

    Jeeze … Are you some kind of moby trying to discredit this site by making crackpot pontifications? There’s a nice writeup on Wikipedia that explains how extrasolar planets are discovered — you can read about the transit method here. You don’t even have to know anything about extrasolar planets to understand how we know the diameters of stars that have been been eclipsed by objects that pass in front of them; you can read about eclipsiong binary stars.

    BTW, what the astronomers mean when they say that this is a “temperate” gas giant is that it orbits sufficiently far from the star that it hasn’t been bloated by excess heat (resulting either from stellar irradiance or tidal forces). All of the other transiting planets discovered so far have periods less than six days or so, and are only a few diameters away from their stars — they typically have temperatures of a couple thousand degrees or so at their visible surfaces, and their high temperatures bloat them up to significantly larger than they’d be if they were as cool as Jupiter — some of them up to three or four times Jupiter’s volume. Ths planet has an orbit about the size of Mercury’s in our system, so it’s still rather warm by our standards … but the “surface” temperature is estimated to be less than 500 Kelvin, and it has about the same diameter as Jupiter.

    Here’s the reference for the original paper:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7287/abs/nature08856.html

    More information on the star and planet here.

  20. OK, let’s try that again with a closed link tag:

    Brian G Valentine wrote at 10:04:37:

    I’ll take some of your contradictions directed at me Leif, not that one. Star diameters can be inferred from an interferometer, but excepting possibly for the red giant Betelgeuse, stars are points, independently of magnification from Earth, and although “dimming” of a star from eclipse of a rotating object suggests a planet, there are numerous other explanations possible, and if a planet revolves around a star, than that star’s track is a very slightly adjusted helix in the galaxy, and that is the only confirmation that proves it as far as I know.

    Jeeze … Are you some kind of moby trying to discredit this site by making crackpot pontifications? There’s a nice writeup on Wikipedia that explains how extrasolar planets are discovered — you can read about the transit method here. You don’t even have to know anything about extrasolar planets to understand how we know the diameters of stars that have been been eclipsed by objects that pass in front of them; you can read about eclipsiong binary stars.

    BTW, what the astronomers mean when they say that this is a “temperate” gas giant is that it orbits sufficiently far from the star that it hasn’t been bloated by excess heat (resulting either from stellar irradiance or tidal forces). All of the other transiting planets discovered so far have periods less than six days or so, and are only a few diameters away from their stars — they typically have temperatures of a couple thousand degrees or so at their visible surfaces, and their high temperatures bloat them up to significantly larger than they’d be if they were as cool as Jupiter — some of them up to three or four times Jupiter’s volume. Ths planet has an orbit about the size of Mercury’s in our system, so it’s still rather warm by our standards … but the “surface” temperature is estimated to be less than 500 Kelvin, and it has about the same diameter as Jupiter.

    Here’s the reference for the original paper:
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7287/abs/nature08856.html

    More information on the star and planet here.

  21. There are dozens of Jupiter scale or larger planets orbiting their stars in FAST close in orbits measured in day(s) to weeks.

    The discovery has been confirmed by independent observations of transits. Would that climate science made falsifiable, independently verifiable predictions like this.

    What’s wicked cool is that the US has had Kepler in heliocentric orbit for a year watching over 100,000 stars in the Cygnus-Lyra section of our Milky Way detecting planets by the same photometry method but with vastly more sensivity. A few years from now when Kepler’s data has been gathered and analyzed we’ll know how special or not special our solar system really is. Science.

  22. Minor point. I wish a word would be coined to replace “planet” for these bodies which orbit other stars.

    I have no suggestions, but it is still early in the day for me.

  23. My tulips are sprouting at just the right time. I think things that I can see without a couple million dollar telescope to be much more interesting, and I have naming rights! My tulips name is Abigail. Not that I’m minimizing the importantce of the discovery, just that scientists have detected planets before. Call me when astronuats land there.

  24. Re: Leif Svalgaard (09:37:12)

    Sorry, but the story doesn’t jive with my “common sense-o-meter.” Waaay too many assumptions. Just look at the detail they try to provide for an object supposed to be 1500 light years away! May or may not be true, but we’ll never know.

  25. KTWO (12:36:30) :

    Minor point. I wish a word would be coined to replace “planet” for these bodies which orbit other stars.

    I have no suggestions, but it is still early in the day for me.

    I have seen them termed “explanets” before.

  26. Are you some kind of moby trying to discredit this site by making crackpot pontifications?

    No I’m not and yes I’m familiar with what Wikipedia says and yes I’m familiar with the errors inherent and yes those errors exceed the errors the errors in trajectory measurements

  27. Suranda, Nick,
    The New planet is 1500 light years away in another Solar System.
    A very nice discovery, possibly someone will stop in about 2750.

    Sometimes I think about those star naming services and how in that grand
    imagined future, travelers will stop at such a place and say something like ” Captain we have arrived at “Grandma’s Star” and on course for
    “Timmy’s” planet .” Should be a hoot.

  28. 1500 Light Years? We only have a million and a half Earth years before we’re toast. We need something firmer and closer and with an atmosphere, a real clean one. Let’s keep working. there has to be something out there we can live on;-)

  29. “What’s wicked cool is that the US has had Kepler in heliocentric orbit for a year watching over 100,000 stars in the Cygnus-Lyra section of our Milky Way detecting planets by the same photometry method but with vastly more sensivity. A few years from now when Kepler’s data has been gathered and analyzed we’ll know how special or not special our solar system really is. Science.”

    I was just reading about the Kepler Mission on the Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler_Mission

  30. You have a large gas giant orbiting near a star.

    As the star continues along the main sequence, it starts running out of hydrogen to fuse, fuses helium and heavier elements, and swells up in a red giant phase.

    As it does so, will it engulf and consume the gas giant? If so, will the planet still be a “gas” giant, with the gas (mostly) still there?

    If so, will the infusion of a fresh supply of hydrogen and helium cause the star to flare up?

  31. NickB. (10:12:00) :

    Discovered by an international team, huh? Who wants to bet this story would be different if this had been discovered by a US American

    “Imperialist astronomers claim new planet U.S. territory. Giant planet named Terra Barbara, for the UC Santa Barabara scientists who headed up the project…” UN News and World Report

  32. Doug in Seattle (08:55:44) :

    It seem to be a rather fast orbit for gas giant.

    Yes. About 40 times faster than jupiter. About the same as little Mercury.

  33. Bones (15:37:19) :

    “Imperialist astronomers claim new planet U.S. territory. Giant planet named Terra Barbara, for the UC Santa Barabara scientists who headed up the project…” UN News and World Report

    As a new planet, perhaps we can think of it as a potential Second Eden, at which point we can say it was named after Barbara Eden. And who can complain about that?

  34. — “Undoubtedly, many more exciting discoveries await in the future.” —

    Statistically speakin’, and hiding the decline, many more unexciting discoveries await.

    Excitement falls off with the inverse square of the P.R Proxy AKA – PAYOLLA.

    How many unexciting discoveries await? We can’t currently tell, and its a travesty that we can’t.

    Don’t tell the skeptics this, their endless FOI’s interrupt us filling out the forms requesting more funding, to find the Exciting discoveries.

    Once we link gas giants too Telescopes reflecting heat into space, we can finally rest, the debate is over. Manmade Cosmic Change is a fact.

    Now back to writing my romance novel….

  35. RE: KTWO (12:36:30) : “Minor point. I wish a word would be coined to replace “planet” for these bodies which orbit other stars.”

    I note that the Wikipedia article on ‘Extrasolar Planets’ uses the shortened term ‘exoplanet.’

  36. Brian G Valentine (10:04:37) :
    as far as I know.
    Just show how little you know. Try to learn some more about this. It is fascinating stuff.

    D. King (11:30:40) :
    Could the giant raise a tide that affects the detected light?
    Not in any way large enough to be a problem.

    Tim McHenry (13:47:41) :
    “common sense-o-meter.”
    Which has just failed you, big time.

    the detail they try to provide for an object supposed to be 1500 light years away! May or may not be true, but we’ll never know.
    We know a lot about stars that are that and much further away.
    E. g. for the binary pulsar J0737-3039, the two stars A and B have masses of 1.337 solar masses [A] and 1.250 solar masses [B], and rotation periods of 0.023 seconds and 2.8 seconds respectively.

    Brian G Valentine (14:13:39) :
    those errors exceed the errors the errors in trajectory measurements
    So what are are those errors you so familiar with? Give some number, please?

    rbateman (14:22:11) :
    Have we found a nearby star that doesn’t have any planets?
    We have not found planets around all stars [doesn’t mean they don’t have any, we just haven’t seen them]. In general, we expect planets only around slowly rotating stars because [as far as we know], formation of a planetary system slows down a star’s rotation as angular momentum is transferred to the planets [e.g. by magnetic forces]. In the solar system the planets have 98% of the angular momentum and the Sun is therefore a slow rotator. So, fast rotating stars probably don’t have planets.

    tallbloke (16:26:43) :
    “It seem to be a rather fast orbit for gas giant.”
    Yes. About 40 times faster than jupiter.

    There is a selection effect: We can only observe [with today’s instruments] planets that are big and/or close [and therefore fast moving]. So not surprising. If that star had a ‘normal’ Jupiter [size and distance] we couldn’t see it.

  37. Rediculous… seriously you think they can tell the temperature, density and geological make up of this planet? Hogwash. At absolute best they could measure its size. Im suprised, normally skeptic scientists like yourself can be tricked with this tomfoollery.

  38. Brian G Valentine (10:04:37) :
    although “dimming” of a star from eclipse of a rotating object suggests a planet
    Imagine a solar eclipse. Seen from the Earth, the eclipse begins with a gradual dimming of the Sun as the Moon moves across the disk, then with a few minutes of ‘most dimming’ [for total eclipe], followed by a gradual brightening as the Moon moves off the solar disk. Now, if we view the eclipse from futher away the moon will look smaller and not cover the whole solar disk, but only a smaller part of iy. Here is what a solar eclipse looks like from the STEREO spacecraft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA-solar_eclipse_STEREO-B.ogg
    If we move further away the moon will look smaller still and the dimming will be much smaller, but with sensitive enough photometers we might still see it, specially if the Moon was as big as Jupiter [as the star’s planet]. What is new is that we know have instruments sensitive enough to observe even that tiny dimming and so provide direct observation of the eclipse. This has nothing at all to do with trajectories or orbits through the Galaxy. We are just observing an ordinary star eclipse. Aliens on other stars could observe the Moon [or the Earth, or Jupiter] eclipse the Sun the same way [given sensitive enough instruments]. There is no need for you to be skeptical of observations of eclipses, unless you have other reasons for not wanting to see this, like the cardinals that would not look through Galileo’s telescope :-)

  39. Give me a confirmed example to take, Leif, and I’ll show you what the associated errors of the measurements are.

  40. I’ll get more interested when someone suggests the presence of large amounts of oil on a relatively reachable exoplanet.

  41. Pure logic. Can I ask you a personal question Leif? Do you have pointy ears? Speaking of Dr. Spock, I have always thought that if I ever win the lottery, I’ld have my ears pointed. Then on St. Patty’s day, I’ld walk into some tavern in Ireland and just kinda move my long, thick red hair out of the way, in a nonchalant kind of way, and freak out the bar rats.

  42. Grumbles (19:10:08) :
    they can tell the temperature, density and geological make up of this planet? At absolute best they could measure its size.
    The distance from the star and the size are well on its way to determining [‘inferring’ is all they claimed] the other quantities. So, not so ridiculous.

  43. Brian G Valentine (20:38:58) :
    Give me a confirmed example to take, Leif, and I’ll show you what the associated errors of the measurements are.
    [audio src="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA-solar_eclipse_STEREO-B.ogg" /]

  44. Leif Svalgaard (20:50:11)

    Too many assumptions. As you rightly point out The distance from the star and the size can be easily calculated, the other things however involve huge assumptions, as well as significantly rounded calculations, like star density.

  45. Pamela Gray (20:43:44) :
    Do you have pointy ears?
    Hair a bit too long right now, will check later…

    Then on St. Patty’s day
    Triggered some useless trivia tidbit:
    Patty was not Irish at all. His father was Roman, his mother English, and he was born in Wales, from where he at sixteen years of age was kidnapped by Irish pirates and taken to their shores from where he never returned.

  46. Pamela Gray: “Then on St. Patty’s day, I’d walk into some tavern in Ireland and just kinda move my long, thick red hair out of the way, in a nonchalant kind of way, and freak out the bar rats.”

    My mom is an Irish redhead…and she definitely influences the world around her. Both fiery and sunny…she is loved by thousands. A real good woman.

    Maybe that is why I have so much magnetic respect for you. [And fear and trembling here….just a lowly shark lol].

    OK….back to this “new” planet…

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  47. It will take me a few days, Leif.

    It was a longstanding problem to demonstrate the existence of planets associated with stars. Sure there have been lots of advances, but the difficulties with the resolution of apparent diameters of the order 0.001″ remain the same

  48. Grumbles (21:03:47) :
    Too many assumptions.
    We don’t think so. From its size we deduce that cannot be a wholly rocky planet, because we know the chemical composition of its star and there is not enough ‘heavy’ materials [as rocks are made of] to have formed a fully rocky planet of that size, so the planet must be Jupiter-like [i.e. most of it must be Hydrogen and Helium of which there are plenty] and then from known properties of gas planets we can infer the other stuff. This is not rocket science.

  49. I didn’t stop at every comment but is it just me who thinks this “discovery” is essentially meaningless?

    I mean what does it mean whent here are millions of stars and planets and this one is 1500 light years away.
    Are we supposed to get all excited about a unique grain of sand on the beach.

    Even if the 60 astronomers discovered there are cancer curing minerals on the surface of this new planet it would still be meaningless for centuries while we wait for technology to make space exploration possible.

    What this hyped discovery does do is promote the additional funding and research these astronomers would like.

    Sound familliar?

    Really folks can we afford to fund every professional hobby as if it’s vital?
    There’s an enormous list of right here and now needs around our planet.
    Why isn’t laying on our backs gazing at the summer night sky enough for now?

  50. kadaka (15:19:46) :
    As the star continues along the main sequence
    Does not move along the MS, but off it [up to the right in the H-R diagram]

    As it does so, will it engulf and consume the gas giant? If so, will the planet still be a “gas” giant, with the gas (mostly) still there?
    The gas will be blown off and the rocky core left.

    If so, will the infusion of a fresh supply of hydrogen and helium cause the star to flare up?
    No, as that fresh stuff [what little is left after the blow-off] will vaporize, but the vapors will be on the surface of the star where there is no fusion.

  51. “Why isn’t laying on our backs gazing at the summer night sky enough for now?”

    Because, that activity gives too much opportunity for the mind to wander and reflect on

    “the fact that we humans have been overheating the atmosphere for over 200 years” – (S Solomon, 2007)

  52. Leif Svalgaard 20:21:42 “There is no need for you to be skeptical of observations of eclipses, unless you have other reasons for not wanting to see this, like the cardinals that would not look through Galileo’s telescope :-)”

    It’s not clear that anyone refused to look through Galileo’s telescope, but, in any case, none of the very few who may or may not have refused was a cardinal. Two of the most prominent were not priests at all, and one of them (Cremonini) was prosecuted by the Inquisition for atheism and heresy. Another one, Clavius, the most respected astronomer of the time, and a Jesuit, accepted Galileo’s discoveries in 1611, many years before Galileo was prosecuted, but he seems to have thought that the mountains on the moon were spurious – maybe a defect in the telescope, or maybe something that would be inherent in all telescopes – I don’t know, exactly.

    From ancient times until the time of Galileo, “scientists” (natural philosophers) believed that it was invalid to try to learn anything about the world by interfering with it or by artificial means. A major objection to Galileo’s telescope was that you couldn’t go to the moon or Jupiter to see if the telescope had gotten it right, whereas if you used it to view something on earth, you could check it. Galileo was trying to overthrow the philosophy of science that had been *the* philosophy of science for thousands of years. This together with the self-interest of Aristotelian professors, plus his own obnoxious personality, is what did him in.

    That said, I’m finding many of the messages in this thread (not including your message) to be amazing. The topic is not AGW, but the attitudes are the same; they’re just as if the topic were AGW. I say this as an AGW skeptic.

  53. Brian G Valentine (21:14:46) :
    difficulties with the resolution of apparent diameters of the order 0.001″ remain the same
    No, because large enough planets cause a measurable dimming of the star [our instruments have no finally become good enough] and we have observed hundreds of such cases. The Kepler spacecraft is right now staring at 100,000 stars and we expect soon to discover many thousands of exoplanets.

  54. Leif 21:10:53

    Hmmm, may have got you finally. St. Patrick escaped and came back to the larger isle, was converted, and then returned to Eire.
    =================

  55. Kim – In case you mean that I got Leif, let me say, what I said at about being amazed by many of the messages in this thread is important, and it certainly isn’t anything that gets Leif.

  56. Smoking Frog 22:09:49

    Oh, no. I am merely disputing Leif’s claim that St. Patrick permantently stayed in Ireland after his kidnapping.

    Whaddya bet he finds research to dispute me?
    ===========

  57. Leif Svalgaard (21:16:42) :

    We assume the chemical composition of its star. Please be aware we can theorize with some accuracy the chemical composition of our sun and could assume that all stars have the same chemical composition. We assume that it is mostly hydrogen and helium and not another gases whose makeup we don’t know. We assume that there is only one planet in the orbit whereas there could be two opposite each other halving our estimations of the planets year’s. We only KNOW the properties of a couple of planets, (as far as i know we have not collected any “air” or “soil” samples from Jupiter) the rest we assume to be similar based on observation from a long way away.

    So if you were wrong about the chemical composition of this particular star, an assumption that cannot be tested in my life time all other calculations would be wrong. And the exact chemical composition of a star is a big assumption.

  58. kim (21:38:21) :
    Hmmm, may have got you finally. St. Patrick escaped and came back to the larger isle, was converted, and then returned to Eire.
    Did he return to Wales?

  59. kim (22:03:52) : “Oh, no. I am merely disputing Leif’s claim that St. Patrick permantently stayed in Ireland after his kidnapping. Whaddya bet he finds research to dispute me?”

    Sorry, I overlooked that message.

    I wouldn’t bet anything that Leif finds research to dispute you. I wouldn’t rely much on Wikipedia, but it does say that your story is from one of the only two authentic letters by Patrick.

  60. “Leif Svalgaard (22:16:54) :
    Grumbles (22:10:57) :
    We assume the chemical composition of its star.
    No, we measure it:”

    Who is “we”?

    And citing anything from Goddard at this point…when they have been predicting catastrophic GISS warming…is not too effective.

    Grumbles has a point….a big point.

    In comparison to what’s out there…we really do not know anything. It really is not rocket science.

    A little more complex…..

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  61. Steve Oregon (21:20:57) :

    I didn’t stop at every comment but is it just me who thinks this “discovery” is essentially meaningless?

    I mean what does it mean whent here are millions of stars and planets and this one is 1500 light years away.
    Are we supposed to get all excited about a unique grain of sand on the beach.

    Even if the 60 astronomers discovered there are cancer curing minerals on the surface of this new planet it would still be meaningless for centuries while we wait for technology to make space exploration possible.

    What this hyped discovery does do is promote the additional funding and research these astronomers would like.

    Sound familliar?

    Really folks can we afford to fund every professional hobby as if it’s vital?
    There’s an enormous list of right here and now needs around our planet.
    Why isn’t laying on our backs gazing at the summer night sky enough for now?

    Richard Feynman wrote a letter answering that question.

  62. Grumbles (22:10:57) :

    If astronomers were assuming that all stars had the same composition as the sun, they would not claim that various stars have different compositions, but they do claim it.

  63. Correction:

    In comparison to what’s out there…we really do not know anything. It really IS rocket science.

    Even more complex…..

  64. Leif Svalgaard (22:16:54) :

    Grumbles (22:10:57) :
    We assume the chemical composition of its star.
    No, we measure it: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/961112a.html

    The link proves it would be impossible to know the chemical composition of that star, given a) we don’t know the total makeup of our star and b) this star is too far away to pinpoint the amount of Hydrogen and helium (i must stress these are assumed gases, NASA have never collected any of these gases from the sun and base our observations on the observations of the gases in our atmosphere)

  65. kim (22:04:58) :

    Uh, ‘permatently’ means to pitch permanently a tent.
    ===============

    Insert comment combining common US expression “pitching a tent” with common pharmaceutical ad warning “…lasting longer than four hours, seek immediate medical attention.”

  66. Alan the Brit (10:36:56) :
    Why is it that our forefathers had greater imagination in naming planets & stars…I know there are billions of stars & (very likely 95%) zillions of planets, but surely they could use a little imagination?

    Planet Gore.

    It *is*, after all, a gas giant…

  67. Robert (23:05:13) :
    @ Grumbles (22:57:46) :
    spectroscopy, the study of the spectral lines in the spectrum perhaps.

    From the link…
    a) There are probably even more elements in the Sun that are present in such a small amount that our instruments can’t detect them. This is our sun not a different star thousands of light years away… so based on a few assumptions we accept the chemical composition (to the best of our knowledge) of our own sun.
    b) The fraction of all other elements, the “heavier” elements, is small and varies considerably from 2 or 3 percent by mass in Sun-like stars to 0.1 to 0.01 percent by mass in stars found in globular clusters. So we cannot assume with any form of accuracy what this make up is, hense we don’t know the density of the star.

    Please be aware I am not saying these scientists are wrong, I am aware we have great equipment for performing experiments and finding results, but you have to see the assumptions in these matters, there are many of them. We can only compare spectral results to experimentation done in our own atmosphere with known elements, to assume we can accurately extrapolate this over the universe is both a bold assumption and a “know it all” arrogancy.

  68. Smoking Frog wrote at 21:30:02:

    That said, I’m finding many of the messages in this thread (not including your message) to be amazing. The topic is not AGW, but the attitudes are the same; they’re just as if the topic were AGW. I say this as an AGW skeptic.

    Yeah. Some of the people here are skeptical about claims for AGW because they know what the issues are and understand how scientists should conduct research, and some of the people here are skeptical about claims for AGW because they don’t know what the issues are and don’t have a bloody clue about how science is done.

    Bill Tuttle wrote at 00:06:57:

    Planet Gore.

    It *is*, after all, a gas giant…

    Bill wins the thread!

  69. To Mike G. or anyone: How do you do italics? Just stick in the HTML for it? I didn’t try that, since I didn’t want to mess up my messages, but I’ll try it now.

    checking to see if this is in italics

    Reply: Sure looks like it. ~ctm

  70. Grumbles (00:38:53) said:
    Please be aware I am not saying these scientists are wrong, I am aware we have great equipment for performing experiments and finding results, but you have to see the assumptions in these matters, there are many of them. We can only compare spectral results to experimentation done in our own atmosphere with known elements, to assume we can accurately extrapolate this over the universe is both a bold assumption and a “know it all” arrogancy.

    It’s not easy to see how that argument would avoid saying that all of science is based on a “know it all” arrogance. As far as I know, what is seen with spectroscopy is what quantum mechanics predicts, although I couldn’t prove this to you. Now suppose someone says that that quantum mechanics is a mere fitting to observations on the earth, so it might be peculiar to the earth. I have no confidence that there’s anything to which the same argument would not apply. Of course it’s possible that you were not aware of the claim that spectroscopy is justified by quantum mechanics, but this is beside the point, because your argument does seem to apply to it.

    We don’t know anything, scientific or other, with God-like certainty. You seem to be assuming that science is supposed to know things with God-like certainty. That’s not true.

  71. Mike G in Corvallis (01:05:42) said:
    Yeah. Some of the people here are skeptical about claims for AGW because they know what the issues are and understand how scientists should conduct research, and some of the people here are skeptical about claims for AGW because they don’t know what the issues are and don’t have a bloody clue about how science is done.

    Yes, but the latter group are showing here that they are just as “skeptical” (rejecting) of a scientific claim that has practically nothing to do with AGW. I find this remarkable because I strongly doubt that any substantial percentage of the AGW-skeptical public share their attitude. In the non-cyber world I have never heard an ordinary-person AGW skeptic say that AGW is BS, and the same goes for astronomy.

  72. Grumbles wrote at 00:38:53:

    Please be aware I am not saying these scientists are wrong, I am aware we have great equipment for performing experiments and finding results, but you have to see the assumptions in these matters, there are many of them. We can only compare spectral results to experimentation done in our own atmosphere with known elements, to assume we can accurately extrapolate this over the universe is both a bold assumption and a “know it all” arrogancy.

    I assume that I’m not just a brain in a jar, and that all my impressions of the external universe aren’t just synthetic sensory inputs generated by a sophisticated computer … or by demons, take your pick. But I can’t prove this. Do you also make this same assumption? Can you prove it?

    As Sonic Frog wrote:

    We don’t know anything, scientific or other, with God-like certainty. You seem to be assuming that science is supposed to know things with God-like certainty. That’s not true.

    Bingo.

  73. savethesharks (22:32:31) :
    No, we measure it:”
    Who is “we”?

    “we” is us. Humankind.

    And citing anything from Goddard at this point…when they have been predicting catastrophic GISS warming…is not too effective.
    What nonsense is that?

    Grumbles has a point….a big point.
    He has no point whatsoever.

    Grumbles (22:57:46) :
    NASA have never collected any of these gases from the sun and base our observations on the observations of the gases in our atmosphere)
    Helium was discovered on the Sun, long before it was found on Earth. And we have collected those gases from the Sun: the Sun gives off a solar wind which streams past the Earth. Our spacecraft have directly sampled those gases in situ. Now there are two big assumptions in all this, namely that the laws of physics work the same everywhere and that reason prevails. Let go of those two, and one might descend to Grumble’s [and savetheshark’s] view.

  74. Mike G in Corvallis (01:05:42) :
    Bill wins the thread!

    Better’n winning a Nobel, in my book.

    But this doesn’t mean I have to give an acceptance speech, right?

  75. St Paddy was from Youngstown, Ohio, USA
    _______________________
    “Patrician”
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A person of exceptional education, background and refinement, an aristocrat.

    member of an elite family in various countries

    Patrician (Christianity), the adjective formed from St. Patrick
    Youngstown Patricians, a former semi-professional football team based in Youngstown, Ohio, USA
    Patrician (ancient Rome), elites in ancient Rome.

  76. Just spent 15 minutes of quality geezer-time looking up the definition of “moby”. Got sidetracked by “mother old, baby young” acronym at first, then by the hacker “moby”, which is complimentary. Page 3 of the search results finally mentioned Cockney, which did the trick.

    Gosh, this is a great site! All this science, and learning a foreign language, too!

  77. When I was a kid (a strange little troll I was), I made up words for common things. Like this one for garbage can: “waster paster basket”. That was how I spelled it too. It never caught on though.

  78. D Matteson (10:02:46) :

    I vaguely remember a theory that was kicking around some years ago that went something like:
    If you had a telescope powerful enough to see to the end of the universe, you would be looking at the back of our head.

    Are we sure that we’re not looking back upon our own solar system ;>)

    Only if we had started looking 15 billion years ago. And what fools we’d have felt, looking for something that didn’t exist!

  79. Dr S

    “And we have collected those gases from the Sun: the Sun gives off a solar wind which streams past the Earth. Our spacecraft have directly sampled those gases in situ.”

    Have we gotten any more detailed readings of the solar wind since the failure of the Genesis mission?

  80. Zeke the Sneak (12:08:11) :
    Have we gotten any more detailed readings of the solar wind since the failure of the Genesis mission?
    We don’t need the Genesis mission for this. Our other spacecraft make a mass-spectrometer measurement. No different from what can be made in the laboratory [e.g. for forensic science]. So, we count how many ions with given charge and mass enter the instrument. The fact that the counter is out in space is irrelevant for the correctness of the measurement, and is in fact just what we want for counting in situ.

  81. “mike sphar (20:43:27) :
    I’ll get more interested when someone suggests the presence of large amounts of oil on a relatively reachable exoplanet.”

    You are aware that Saturn’s moon, Titan, has oceans of Natural Gas, right ?

  82. Dr Svalgaard, I know you are a man of great knowledge and understanding. If you could kindly step out of that box of understanding for an hour and have a listen to Wallace Thornhill, I think this information will free you about how much of what we have been told and taught about the cosmos, is still very much in question:

    http://www.redicecreations.com/radio/2010/03mar/RIR-100311.php

    Electric Universe rocks!
    Suranda

  83. “We don’t need the Genesis mission for this. Our other spacecraft make a mass-spectrometer measurement.”

    Probably just as you say. However, I think NASA’s heart was in the right place and I wish they would make another go at it, just in case there are some surprises.

    They just wanted to find what the building blocks of the early solar system were (hence the name “Genesis”); just a little trouble making a parachute deploy in the last moments.

    No sardonic remarks from me. :-)

  84. Just spent 15 minutes of quality geezer-time looking up the definition of “moby”.

    In this case, “moby” refers to the left-wing recording artist who urged his fans and fellow-travelers to mount false-flag operations on the Internet — to claim to be conservative and then either to say truly stupid things to discredit the conservative cause or to say things like “I’m a lifelong Republican, but even I have to admit that Bush is guilty of war crimes!” His name has become an eponym for this style of political sabotage.

  85. Suranda (12:58:31) :
    free you about how much of what we have been told and taught about the cosmos
    Unfortunately I’m one of those who find out, tell, and teach about the cosmos and, so I might be slightly biased towards how it actually works…

  86. Smoking Frog @ 22:24:41

    It’s a St. Patrick’s Day Miracle, and can be attested directly to the intercession of the Saint. I was wrong about the conversion; he was Christian before his kidnapping.
    ================

  87. Leif, you miss my point. I agree that there is a planet there and that using the measurements we can be certain of from our single point in the universe approximately how big it is and what distance it is from its star. We can also be approximately certain of its distance from Earth.

    We cannot honestly claim to know the geological and atmospheric properties of this planet. ” The planet is mostly made of hydrogen and helium, but may contain up to 20 Earth masses of heavier elements including rock and water under high pressure. It thus appears to be very similar to the solar system’s giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn.”

    My point is this is a guess.

  88. Leif Svalgaard (21:16:42) :

    Grumbles (21:03:47) :
    Too many assumptions.

    We don’t think so. From its size we deduce that cannot be a wholly rocky planet, because we know the chemical composition of its star and there is not enough ‘heavy’ materials [as rocks are made of] to have formed a fully rocky planet of that size, so the planet must be Jupiter-like [i.e. most of it must be Hydrogen and Helium of which there are plenty] and then from known properties of gas planets we can infer the other stuff. This is not rocket science.

    If the exoplanet turns out to have an orbit opposite the rotation of the star, then they will say, “It was captured.” Then you cannot assume that you know anything about the composition of the planet, because Kant’s 260yo Nebular Hypothesis will not apply.

  89. JimAsh (12:54:46) :

    You are aware that Saturn’s moon, Titan, has oceans of Natural Gas, right ?

    Too bad that, far as I know, we have yet to find oceans of oxygen to go with it.

    It would make for an interesting science experiment to lob asteroids made primarily of frozen oxygen at Titan. Ever see a moon catch fire?

    Of course then you’ll be making evil CO2, which will undoubtedly lead to runaway lunar warming and cause all those hydrocarbons to vaporize…

  90. Grumbles (21:03:08) :
    My point is this is a guess.
    If I see a man walking down the street, I infer from my knowledge of humans generally that he has a heart and a brain, not three hearts and no brain. My inference is not a ‘guess’. It is a very educated inference that I’ll put good money on [you take a wager that I’m wrong?].

    Zeke the Sneak (21:50:15) :
    If the exoplanet turns out to have an orbit opposite the rotation of the star, then they will say, “It was captured.”
    No such planet has ever been found, so we’ll not have the chance to say that. Don’t assume that the astronomers are morons. [no such astronomer has ever been found ;-) ]

  91. Zeke the Sneak wrote at 21:50:15:

    If the exoplanet turns out to have an orbit opposite the rotation of the star, then they will say, “It was captured.” Then you cannot assume that you know anything about the composition of the planet, because Kant’s 260yo Nebular Hypothesis will not apply.

    Zeke, didn’t anybody ever tell you that you really shouldn’t lead with your chin?

    Planets in retrograde orbits have already been discovered, and furthermore … they were predicted to occur under current theories of planetary system formation. No, the astronomers didn’t say “It was captured.”

    Here:

    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/08/12/biggest-exoplanet-yet-orbits-the-wrong-way/

    http://www.universetoday.com/2009/11/16/second-exoplanet-with-retrograde-orbit-discovered/

    Original sources:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.1553

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.1673

  92. kadaka (22:39:21) :

    JimAsh (12:54:46) :

    You are aware that Saturn’s moon, Titan, has oceans of Natural Gas, right ?

    Too bad that, far as I know, we have yet to find oceans of oxygen to go with it.

    Titan happens to have a lot of ice, so there is your oxygen. Anyway most moons in our solarsystem are partially made up of ice. In fact if a interstellar traveling civilization would visit us for our water, methane and hydrogen than they would be quite happy with what they can find in the outer solarsystem. No need to visit those carbon-based life forms on that third rock from the sun unless you see them as a potential opponent in wich case introducing a few alien germs would do the trick.

    On an other note, it pleases me that astronomers found an Exoplanet using of the shelf techonology. eight 16 inch telescopes fitted with a CCD combined where enough to find a exoplanet orbiting a star some 40 light years away.

    They found a super-earth orbiting GJ 1241. The mass of this planet is about 6.5 times earth and its surface temperature should be around 400 degrees Fahrenheit, still to hot for life as we know it.

    With this hunting exoplanets comes into the realm of the amateur astronomers, people who mean a lot to the professionals.

  93. Robert (03:35:44) :

    Titan happens to have a lot of ice, so there is your oxygen. (…)

    Do I really have to point out to you that water ice represents “consumed oxygen” which is unsuitable for a combustion reaction with the hydrocarbons, in its liquid and gaseous phases of course? 8-)

  94. Leif Svalgaard (01:32:22) :

    Grumbles (21:03:08) :
    My point is this is a guess.
    If I see a man walking down the street, I infer from my knowledge of humans generally that he has a heart and a brain, not three hearts and no brain. My inference is not a ‘guess’. It is a very educated inference that I’ll put good money on [you take a wager that I’m wrong?].

    Ridiculous. Are you comparing our knowledge of the human body to our knowledge of star composition. Tests can be done on the human body and we know a lot about it. It is fine if you want to believe that given the evidence scientists can accurately claim the makeup of this planet, but its drawing a really long bow.

  95. Mike G in Corvallis (03:30:47) :

    Planets in retrograde orbits have already been discovered, and furthermore … they were predicted to occur under current theories of planetary system formation. No, the astronomers didn’t say “It was captured.”

    Well now things are getting interesting!

    In the news releases and abstracts you generously hunted down and provided, there isn’t anything that can be properly called a “prediction” which is verified by the observation of retrograde orbits:

    a. WASP-17: “As a likely a victim of planetary billiards, astronomers say this unusual planet casts new light on how planetary systems form and evolve.”

    b.“HAT-P-7b: “Multiple planets could have formed in an unstable configuration around the star, and their proximity to each other could have caused a rather chaotic series of gravitational billiards to boot HAT-P-7b into its current orbit. Another explanation is the presence of a third object in the system, such as another massive planet or companion star, that is tilting the orbit of HAT-P-7b due to what’s known as the Kozai effect.”

    In fact, what we are looking at are orbits that are precluded by the 260 yo, pre-space age Nebular Hypothesis:

    The odd orbit of HAT-P-7b could have been caused by a number of different factors, and theorists that model the formation of exoplanetary systems will not have to “go back to the drawing boards”. The general consensus is that planets form out of a large disk of material orbiting the star, and thus all orbit in the same direction as the disk out of which they formed.

    Therefore, adjustments are being made to the theory right in front of your eyes. Put that another way, if you, for example 60 years ago, proposed that there could have been a chaotic movement of planets within our own solar system, you would have been labeled an absolute crank.

    So when they say they “don’t have to go back to the drawing board” in planet formation theory, I don’t catagorize that as a verified prediction. Rather, methinks they protest a little too much! :-)

  96. Grumbles (08:55:51) :
    the human body and we know a lot about it.
    We know a lot about solar and stellar composition too. These things are not ‘guesses’ or ‘assumptions’, but inferences drawn from knowledge of one object about that of another that is similar, backed up by actual measurements. You know nothing at all about my human body [whether I have an appendix, or two hearts, or no brain]. You infer my likely composition from your detailed knowledge of some cadaver on a stone slab.
    One last time: the properties inferred for that planet are very likely correct and it is very feasible to infer those and they are not guesses based on unsubstantiated assumptions.

  97. Now there are several hypothesis put forward for the odd orbits of these planets. That’s good. The fact that capture was not mentioned is rather a glaring omission, in my opinion, since this is always one of the working theories for retrograde moons in our own solar system.

    It is even acceptable to say that our own moon was captured.

    My original intent was to point out that there certainly are a lot of assumptions behind the claim to know the composition of this exoplanet.

  98. Zeke the Sneak (10:21:17) :
    since this is always one of the working theories for retrograde moons in our own solar system.
    It works for the moons because the bodies in the solar system are all rather close to each other compared to the distances between the stars, the ratio is something like 1:100,000 so its is relatively easy to capture something within the system compare with capturing something from another system with is 100,000 times as far away. So the ‘capture’ is not a reasonable assumption.

  99. Zeke the Sneak wrote at 10:13:09:

    In the news releases and abstracts you generously hunted down and provided, there isn’t anything that can be properly called a “prediction” which is verified by the observation of retrograde orbits […]

    Zeke, don’t depend on a dumbed-down informal writeup for your information and then criticize the science — that’s like reading the “Classic Comics” version of War and Peace and then complaining that Tolstoy’s colors weren’t realistic.

    The links that I gave to the source publications not only included the abstracts, they also prominently featured “click here” downloads of the full papers as PostScript and PDF documents.

    For example …

    We observed a full transit of HAT-P-7b with the Subaru 8.2m telescope on UT 2008 May 30, and measured the RM effect of this planet. Based on the RM modeling, we discovered the first evidence of a retrograde orbit of HAT-P-7b. This is the first discovery of a retrograde extrasolar planet. The existence of such planets have been indeed predicted in some recent planetary migration models considering planet-planet scattering and/or the Kozai migration (e.g., Fabrycky & Tremaine 2007; Wu et al. 2007; Nagasawa et al. 2008; Chatterjee et al. 2008).

    In fact, what we are looking at are orbits that are precluded by the 260 yo, pre-space age Nebular Hypothesis:

    You like to kick down strawmen, don’t you? They are “precluded by the 260 yo, pre-space age Nebular Hypothesis” in the same way that biological evolution is “precluded” because Charles Darwin didn’t know anything about genes, and the same way that Wegener’s original theory of continental drift is “precluded” by observations of plate tectonics, and the same way that Newton’s theory of gravitation is “precluded” by Special and General Relativity. Modern theories to explain the phenomena are advancements over the originals because they take new information into account.

    The odd orbit of HAT-P-7b could have been caused by a number of different factors, and theorists that model the formation of exoplanetary systems will not have to “go back to the drawing boards”. The general consensus is that planets form out of a large disk of material orbiting the star, and thus all orbit in the same direction as the disk out of which they formed.

    Roughly true … that’s the Classic Comics version. But your “thus” is a simplification that ignores some uncommon, but predicted exceptions.

    Therefore, adjustments are being made to the theory right in front of your eyes.

    Yes! That’s called Science!

    Put that another way, if you, for example 60 years ago, proposed that there could have been a chaotic movement of planets within our own solar system, you would have been labeled an absolute crank.

    Actually, there were speculations in the 1950s that proposed exactly that, and there were papers published in the 1970s (Dole, Stephen H., “Computer Simulation of the Formation of Planetary Systems,” Icarus, vol 13, pp 494-508, 1970; Isaacman, Richard. and Sagan, Carl, “Computer Simulation of Planetary Accretion Dynamics: Sensitivity to Initial Conditions,” Icarus, vol 31, p 510, 1977) about computer simulations of the “nebular hypothesis” in which this chaotic movement of planets explicitly took place. I also recall an article in Scientific American back in the late ’70s or early ’80s that talked about this; sorry, but I don’t have the reference.

    By the way, Sagan’s modeling also predicted massive gas giant planets in close orbits for some systems, based on variations in the initial conditions of the nebula. He called these “pathological” cases, because back then we knew of exactly one planetary system — our own — and we had no idea whether “hot Jupiters” actually occurred in the real universe or were due to unrealistic assumptions in the models.

    So when they say they “don’t have to go back to the drawing board” in planet formation theory, I don’t catagorize that as a verified prediction. Rather, methinks they protest a little too much! :-)

    No, it means that when someone points out a new implication of a theory and then the observations verify that prediction — as was noted in those technical papers that you didn’t read — then that helps substantiate the theory.

    Wanna have some fun? Some of those computer programs for simulating planetary system formation that I mentioned are available on the Web. I don’t know whether Dole’s original ACRETE program (in FORTRAN) is still available, but plenty of people have been playing around with modeling the process in the past forty years and there are now versions that run on personal computers.

    One such is StarGen, which not only builds “moderately believable” planetary systems (based on plausible assumptions) but also describes the characteristics of the individual planets (again, based on what the author considers plausible assumptions). StarGen runs on Macs and Unix systems. Note: I don’t know for sure whether StarGen uses the same model for accretion and gravitational interaction of protoplanets that Dole, Sagan, and the others originally used, so I don’t know whether you’ll get planets swapping orbits or being ejected from the system with this program. Also, these models are sensitive to initial conditions and use Monte Carlo simulation methods, so you shouldn’t get the same system twice. But it’s fun to see what results you get — here are some of the author’s results. (I don’t see any “hot Jupiters” among the examples, so I suspect that his accretion program may be too simplified or his range of initial conditions is too limited.)

    Here’s another simulation that runs under Java that claims to be descended from the originals: accrete.

    WARNING: No warranties expressed or implied. These simulations are based on incomplete physics and do not necessarily reflect reality. Do not begin an expedition to another star system based on the predictions of these models without verifying the results from observations. Similarly, do not inflict massive social and economic changes on planetary populations based on unverified results from AGW models that use incomplete physics or inaccurate assumptions.

  100. Mike G in Corvallis (15:01:25) :
    “we discovered the first evidence of a retrograde orbit of HAT-P-7b.”
    Mike, thanks for that tidbit. I didn’t know that. One learns a little bit every day here on WUWT. Wish that others would too.

  101. Mike G in Corvallis (15:01:25) :
    Zeke, don’t depend on a dumbed-down informal writeup for your information and then criticize the science — that’s like reading the “Classic Comics” version of War and Peace and then complaining that Tolstoy’s colors weren’t realistic.

    That is a fascinating point you raise. I personally do try to read the technical papers, however, I often hit a paywall, a problem with impenatrable jargon, or I simply don’t have enough hours in a day to devote to the subjects that I care about.

    There is, however I would argue, very great value in following the popular presentations of science, for two reasons:

    One, because these present the common denominator and agreed basic analysis, while controversy may rage behind the scenes between the experts in the field.

    Two, because these popular presentations are what best represent what is being taught in the classrooms and juvenile science books. Each expert may come and move the target around quite a bit, but I like to keep apprised of what is going on in the education system.

    So I appreciate your War and Peace point, but as a voter and a taxpayer, I watch and vote to the best of my ability despite the fact that I am not a poli sci or economics major; and I regard with interest the pronouncements of these tax funded astrophysical theoriticians. As do you.

  102. Grumbles wrote at 08:55:51:

    Ridiculous. Are you comparing our knowledge of the human body to our knowledge of star composition. Tests can be done on the human body and we know a lot about it. It is fine if you want to believe that given the evidence scientists can accurately claim the makeup of this planet, but its drawing a really long bow.

    In the case of transiting planets, we can tell the diameter of the planet based on how much of its star’s light it blocks, and we can determine the mass based on the star’s radial velocity changes and the geometry of the orbit. You can figure out the density from the volume and the mass using simple arithmetic. Almost all of these planets turn out to be less dense than Jupiter. For example, HAT-P-7b is about 1.4 times as wide and 1.8 times as massive as Jupiter — do the math. We strongly suspect the low densities are the result of tidal heating; we know that at least some of these planets are quite warm because we can measure their temperatures from spectroscopic observations, and we’d expect them to be hot anyway because they’re so close to their stars.

    So let’s look at WASP-17b, the least-dense planet currently known. The mass is 0.49 the mass of Jupiter (+-0.06 MJ), the orbital radius is 0.051 AU (+−0.002 AU), the orbital period is 3.7354417 days (+−0.0000073 days, and yes we do know it that accurately), and the radius of the planet is 1.74 times that of Jupiter (+−0.26). Do the math and you get a density of only 6-14 percent that of Jupiter.

    So what’s the planet made of? It’s reasonable to start with the assumption that it’s made of the same stuff as Jupiter — mainly hydrogen and helium. The assumption is strengthened when you ask the question, “Could it be made of something else, instead?” Well, there aren’t very many elements in the periodic table, and darned few of them as light as hydrogen and helium. Got any suggestions?

    The problem is to figure out why the planet’s density is as low as it is … Oh, yeah! It’s hot! What’s less dense than cold hydrogen and helium? Hot hydrogen and helium!

    Now, all of this reasoning could be invalidated if the planet is made of unobtainium or bolonium or some other element that doesn’t occur in our periodic table … but we don’t know of any other periodic tables, do we? And it could be wrong if the basic laws of physics elsewhere in the galaxy are massively different from physics here on Earth, but I’m not aware of any evidence for that. Oh, and the basic axioms of mathematics and geometry might be different for that planet, too. Could be! Chickens could have lips, too.

    Instead of the Classic Comics explanation, here’s an example of some real rocket surgery. Tell me where you disagree with the reasoning, and show your work:

    The determination of planetary structure in tidally relaxed inclined systems.

  103. Mike G in Corvallis (15:01:25) :
    The existence of such planets have been indeed predicted in some recent planetary migration models

    Terrific! As Dr. Jewitt in Hawaii says, “Planetary migration is an idea whose time has come.”

    Wait. Are there any others you can think of, any others, who proposed that planets have recently moved from their orbits? Specifically Venus, which has and does display cometary properties?

  104. Leif Svalgaard (14:22:10) :

    Zeke the Sneak (10:21:17) :
    since this is always one of the working theories for retrograde moons in our own solar system.
    It works for the moons because the bodies in the solar system are all rather close to each other compared to the distances between the stars, the ratio is something like 1:100,000 so its is relatively easy to capture something within the system compare with capturing something from another system with is 100,000 times as far away. So the ‘capture’ is not a reasonable assumption.

    “What about the fact that gravitational capture is highly unlikely? That’s true. But…each star will have a plasma sheath that limits the weak electric field between the star and the sheath. It is the Sun’s heliosphere…the heliosphere is about 200 AU across. That’s a big target.” Wal Thornhill

    So wrt capture, it must be remembered that Jupiter’s magnetic field is the largest object in the Solar System, and the Sun’s heliosphere is 200AU across, so it is not such an astronomically unlikely event to have an interaction between a Super Jupiter (a brown dwarf) and a main sequence star.

  105. Zeke the Sneak (17:25:23) :
    It is the Sun’s heliosphere…the heliosphere is about 200 AU across. That’s a big target.” Wal Thornhill
    1st: The electric stuff is the shearest nonsense. And planets are not electric so can’t capture anything that way.
    2nd: 200 AU is nothing when the nearest star is typically of the order of a million AU away.

  106. Mike G in Corvallis (16:16:45) :
    (…)
    Now, all of this reasoning could be invalidated if the planet is made of unobtainium or bolonium or some other element that doesn’t occur in our periodic table … but we don’t know of any other periodic tables, do we? (…)

    From El Reg, March 5 2010:

    ‘Negatively strange’ antihypermatter made out of gold
    Atomsmash boffins’ reverse alchemy bizarro-stuff triumph

    Topflight international reverse-alchemy boffins say they have managed to transmute gold into an entirely new form of “negatively strange” antihypernucleic antimatter, ultra-bizarre stuff which cannot possibly occur naturally – except perhaps inside the cores of collapsed stars.
    (…)

    Probably of course completely unrelated, just something interesting I came across that I kept forgetting to mention here. But I still find it interesting to wonder how many celestial objects could be something other than “normal” matter.

  107. Zeke the Sneak wrote at 16:28:15:

    Wait. Are there any others you can think of, any others, who proposed that planets have recently moved from their orbits? Specifically Venus, which has and does display cometary properties?

    Zeke, you claimed that “if you, for example 60 years ago, proposed that there could have been a chaotic movement of planets within our own solar system, you would have been labeled an absolute crank.”

    I just gave several examples of astronomers who proposed that planetary orbits can change as planets gravitationally interact with one another and who weren’t labeled as cranks. Now you’re moving the goalposts to ask for more?

    You’re changing the question to be about people who claim that planets in the solar system have recently moved from their orbits? There still aren’t any astronomers tht I’m aware of who believe this — not if you define “recently” to be within the past million years or so.

    There used to be a crackpot named Velikovsky who made this claim and who believed in a number of even less plausible things, but … (1) he was a psychiatrist and amateur historian, not an astronomer or any other kind of scientist, (2) his proposed chronology of events in the past ten thousand years of history to support his claims is universally rejected by historians, (3) he picked and chose among myths that supported what he wanted to believe and ignored or rejected those that didn’t support his claims — just as Jones, Briffa, Hansen, Schmidt, and others ignore inconvenient data to support their claims of AGW, (4) some of his supposed history was based on mistranslations of the source works, (5) his physics doesn’t hold up (as the Wikipedia article concisely sums things up, “The fundamental criticism against this book from the astronomy community was that its celestial mechanics were physically impossible, requiring planetary orbits which do not conform with the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum”), (6) his specific predictions about the properties of other planets turned out to be profoundly wrong (e.g., Venus is not covered in carbohydrates), (7) studies of ice-cores from Greenland and Antarctica and studies of any number of delicate geological features (sediment deposition, stalactites) refute the idea of any sort of global catastrophe within the past six thousand years, and (8) there’s no reason at all to believe in the existence of any form of “collective amnesia” that prevents human societies from remembering planets caroming around in the sky with enormous electrical discharges between them and Earth.

    Lou Costello: They said Newton was crazy! They said Einstein was crazy! They said Luigi was crazy!
    Bud Abbott: Luigi? Who’s Luigi?
    Costello: Oh, Luigi’s my uncle — he really is crazy …

    I haven’t heard anyone say that Velikovsky wasn’t a nice guy, though.

    By the way, David Jewitt (who is now at UCLA) can explain the orbital dynamics and consequences of planetary migration very well without invoking the idea of vast electromagnetic forces between planets overcoming gravitational forces and without believing that planets in our solar system have played musical chairs within the past few thousand years.

  108. Still it is interesting to note that 100’s of brown dwarfs have been discovered since the 1980’s, and most within 150 light years away. They are potentially as numerous as stars in our Galaxy.

    “The compedium of brown dwarfs now includes objects with photospheric temperatures as low as 625 K and masses as low as 0.01 M of the sun.”
    http://web.mit.edu/ajb/www/papers/physicstoday.pdf

    This does complicate matters a little I think and there is no justification for being so facile about the origins and properties of the extrasolar planets. There could be quite a lot of overlap with Super Jupiters, as well as electrical capture, and perhaps other explanations for these rediculously tiny orbits (4 days) of gas giants around stars.

  109. kadaka wrote at 19:21:28:

    From El Reg, March 5 2010:

    ‘Negatively strange’ antihypermatter made out of gold
    Atomsmash boffins’ reverse alchemy bizarro-stuff triumph

    Probably of course completely unrelated, just something interesting I came across that I kept forgetting to mention here. But I still find it interesting to wonder how many celestial objects could be something other than “normal” matter.

    Yup, I saw that in The Register too, and I wondered whether to muddy the water by mentioning it. It’s a shame that all of these strange forms of matter (white dwarf/degenerate matter, neutron star matter, atoms with muons instead of electrons, BECs, etc.) seem to be denser than the regular stuff, or very unstable under ordinary conditions, or both.

    Sometimes I wish The Reg qould get over their “regspeak” fixation with “boffins” … but on the other hand, ya gotta love a science reporter who can write stuff like this:

    Anyone who has watched a TV, read any sci-fi or seen any movies will be well aware that hyperdimensional spacewarp wormhole portals don’t normally lead to anything boring like empty space, parallel civilisations where humanity lives in peace and harmony or anything like that.

    Rather, it seems a racing cert that we’re looking here at an imminent visit from a race of carnivorous dinosaur-men, the superhuman clone hive-legions of some evil genetic queen-empress, infinite polypantheons of dark nega-deities imprisoned for aeons and hungering to feast upon human souls, a parallel-history victorious Nazi globo-Reich or something of that type.

  110. <i<Mike G in Corvallis (20:45:26) :
    Rather, it seems a racing cert that we’re looking here at an imminent visit from a race of carnivorous dinosaur-men, the superhuman clone hive-legions of some evil genetic queen-empress, infinite polypantheons of dark nega-deities imprisoned for aeons and hungering to feast upon human souls, a parallel-history victorious Nazi globo-Reich or something of that type.

    Like Democrats?

  111. Electric Sun Verified

    “Is it likely that any astonishing new developments are lying in wait for us? Is it possible that the cosmology of 500 years hence will extend as far beyond our present beliefs as our cosmology goes beyond that of Newton?”
    —Fred Hoyle, The Nature of the Universe

    NASA’s IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer) spacecraft has made the first all-sky maps of the boundary between the Sun’s environment (the heliosphere), and interstellar space. The results, reported as a bright, winding ribbon of unknown origin which bisects the maps, have taken researchers by surprise. However, the discovery fits the electric model of stars perfectly.

    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=74fgmwne

  112. Zeke the Sneak (20:38:44) :
    perhaps other explanations for these ridiculously tiny orbits (4 days) of gas giants around stars.
    There is no reason to look for extraneous other explanations when th one we have is perfectly reasonable. And there are stars that orbit each other in 5 minutes.

  113. Leif Svalgaard (08:40:52) :

    There is no reason to look for extraneous other explanations when th one we have is perfectly reasonable. And there are stars that orbit each other in 5 minutes.

    Reality is stranger than we realize. Really.

  114. kadaka (10:35:09) :
    “And there are stars that orbit each other in 5 minutes.”
    Reality is stranger than we realize. Really.

    On the other hand, we know and understand why they do this. The Universe is rich in marvels. The astounding thing is our ability to observe, learn about, and understand what we see.

  115. Leif Svalgaard (11:27:51) :

    On the other hand, we know and understand why they do this.

    Ah-ah! Don’t fall into the climatology trap, you’re better than that. We do not know and understand anything, in nothing like absolute terms. We use the best theories that provide the best explanations for the best data we have, nothing more. We stay open to the possibility that better data may disprove those theories, and await better theories that provide better explanations, nothing less. That is the proper scientific mindset.

    And by those best theories… Wow, five minutes. Seems unlikely you’d get planets to form with those tidal forces.

  116. kadaka (12:34:33) :
    We do not know and understand anything, in nothing like absolute terms.
    I do. Except I don’t understand what ‘absolute terms’ means.

    We stay open to the possibility that better data may disprove those theories
    We have learned that the Earth is round, so don’t stay open to the possibility that it may not be.

    And by those best theories… Wow, five minutes.
    Not theory, but observation.

  117. Re: Leif Svalgaard (13:08:45)

    You expect me to believe you don’t know the difference between absolute and relative?

    BTW, you look at an object, you see it is red. Which is the current theory? Does it look red because it absorbs the other light spectrum colors, or because it absorbs all the colors and emits red? Which theory fits the available data best?

    You do a spectral analysis, examine the lines, you know the object is red and exactly what shade it is. Then you examine it under a microscope. You find many dots of differing colors, none of which exactly match the spectral profile you had earlier observed. You now have better data. Your original observations are still valid, it still looks red. But do you still say you know it is red and exactly what shade?

    We have learned that the Earth is round, so don’t stay open to the possibility that it may not be.

    As wide open as that statement is, it is hard to disprove. “Round” covers a lot of territory. Circular or elliptical? Or something else? It’s an approximation anyway, up close you see many features that are not contributing to roundness. Oh, and stay open to the possibility that someday the Earth will cease being round. It happens.

    Not theory, but observation.
    You need to read better, or just not jump to criticism so fast. “Five minutes” is repeating the observation, “theories” concerned planet formation possibilities.

  118. kadaka (15:07:05) :
    You expect me to believe you don’t know the difference between absolute and relative?
    In this context, yes. As they are not appropriate for this.

  119. Whoa, man! You mean that our entire solar system could be, like, one tiny atom in, like, the toenail of some enormous being … and that one tiny atom in, like my toenail could be, like, an entire solar system?! Like, with people on it and stuff? Heavy, man …

  120. Leif Svalgaard (08:40:52) : There is no reason to look for extraneous other explanations when the one we have is perfectly reasonable.

    Those academic mind tricks don’t work on me. :-)

  121. Zeke the Sneak (19:12:31) :
    Those academic mind tricks don’t work on me. :-)
    Somebody once said that he was to dumb to be fooled :-)
    More seriously, there is a good principle in science [Occam’s razor] saying that “entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem” which almost does not need translation [‘entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity’]

  122. Entia non sunt multiplicanda:
    See black holes, dark matter, dark energy, gravitational lensing and warping and expanding space.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Sooner or later, scientists are going to realize that wherever we see spin, there’s electricity involved.”

    Hilton Ratcliffe, The Virtue of Heresy, pg 228

  123. Zeke the Sneak (20:00:43) :
    “Sooner or later, scientists are going to realize that wherever we see spin, there’s electricity involved.”
    Spin has nothing to do with electricity but with the quantization of angular momentum.
    Or with just ordinary rotation, which again has nothing to do with electricity. The ‘spin’ deal is the usual straw man trying to connect simple rotation with that of quantum spin of electrons. [to make it sound more ‘scientific’].
    So, scientists are not going to realize what you claim, because that is not reality.

  124. Leif Svalgaard (15:53:34) :

    In this context, yes. As they are not appropriate for this.

    On the contrary, it is very appropriate to not say you know and understand something in an absolute manner when discussing science.

    “Steel is hard.” That’s a basic statement in absolute terms, people know it to be true, nothing wrong there. Until we start thinking scientifically, then we have to qualify the statement. The temperature range needs consideration. We need a scale to reference. At room temperature, steel is harder than aluminum, but diamond is harder than steel. To state in absolute terms that you know steel is hard is not scientific.

    You can also get into trouble another way. Until recently, diamond was the hardest substance. Or was it? Nope, it was the hardest substance known to man. You cannot make the absolute statement as the limitations of human knowledge must be recognized.

    You can say you know the speed of light in a vacuum in absolute terms, because that is a definition. You can say you know 2+2=4 in absolute terms, because that is math, although even then you have the unspoken assumptions that no units are involved and you are using base 10 numbers.

    It is best in science to avoid saying we know and understand something in absolute terms, with absolute certainty. We have the best theories that provide the best explanations for the best data we have, nothing more. What we know is what we know right now, our knowledge and understanding are relative. Just as there was someone like you a thousand years ago who claimed to know and understand scientific things with absolute certainty (isn’t there always?), there will very likely be one a thousand years from now. Yet despite the certainty all three of you feel, are you certain all three of you will be in agreement on all the same facts?

  125. kadaka (01:08:56) :
    On the contrary, it is very appropriate to not say you know and understand something in an absolute manner when discussing science.
    You misunderstand “know/understand” as generally used [at least in science]. It goes without saying that everything we know/understand is within the current framework only and is always subject to refinement. Therefore we don’t need to qualify it all the time.

    The concept of ‘absolute terms’ is useless/meaningless in this connection.

  126. Re: Leif Svalgaard (09:57:26)

    Oh, I know how we use “know and understand” in science. I also know how the general public interprets our use of those terms, and how the CAGW scientists made sure to use them to convey the notion of absolute rock-hard no-doubt certainty in absolute will-never-change facts. If you want the general public to trust science, you should make it clear that we are talking about what is known and understood at this moment.

    You can see what is happening in medicine from doctors conveying a sense of absolute certainty, as the public watches the continuing stream of conflicting reports and advice. We can see what is happening with climate science, and science in general. Let’s not add to the problem, and make clear what the limits of our knowledge actually are.

  127. kadaka (10:35:42) :
    Oh, I know how we use “know and understand” in science. I also know how the general public interprets our use of those terms
    Then go and educate Joe Public. Here you are just preaching to the choir.

    make clear what the limits of our knowledge actually are
    Since we don’t know that, we can’t, except for the vacuous statement that this is the best we can do at this time, which should be clear to everybody from the outset. Would we do any worse on purpose [discounting fraudsters and cranks, etc]?

  128. Leif Svalgaard (21:30:56) :Spin has nothing to do with electricity but with the quantization of angular momentum.

    3 example of electricity and spin–

    1. The Faraday or homopolar motor:

    2. Giant Electrical Tornadoes In Space Drive The Northern Lights:
    ‘Earth-bound tornadoes are puny compared to “space tornadoes,” which span a volume as large as Earth and produce electrical currents exceeding 100,000 amperes, according to new observations by a suite of five NASA space probes.’

    3. tornadoes and dust devils are a charged sheath vortex: ‘More than 100,000 volts per yard of natural, so called “static” electricity have been measured in desert dust storms and the mini-tornado-like dust devils.’

    How this applies to astronomy, in the Electric Universe, eliminating the need for new entities, such as halos of dark matter:

    1. “Astrophysicist Hannes Alfvén first proposed his theory of “electric galaxies” in 1981. Galaxies and their motions resemble a homopolar motor more than they do anything else. A homopolar motor operates because electric current creates a magnetic field, which causes a metal disc to spin at a rate directly proportional to the supplied current.” thunderbolts.info/tpod/00archive.htm

    2. “The correct model to apply to a star is that of a homopolar electric motor. It explains the puzzle of why the equator of the Sun rotates the fastest when it should be slowed by mass loss to the solar wind. (The same model applies to spiral galaxies and explains why outer stars orbit more rapidly than expected. The spiral arms of the galaxy and the spiral structure of the solar ‘wind’ then have an obvious connection).” Wal Thornhill

  129. Zeke the Sneak (11:42:26) :
    Leif Svalgaard (21:30:56) :Spin has nothing to do with electricity but with the quantization of angular momentum.
    3 example of electricity and spin–

    You are misusing ‘spin’. The correct word is ‘rotation’.
    And you are confusing cause and effect. The electric current is not causing the rotation but is a consequence.

    This is the fundamental flaw in the E.U. nonsense.
    Nobody doubts that electricity is involved, the issue is what causes what. This horse has been beaten to a pulp on WUWT already, so no need to beat the carcass any further and hijack the thread with that nonsense.

  130. Hee~hee! Dr Svalgaard, it’s time to join the party. I’m telling you, it won’t hurt a bit! Really! The electric universe is ALIVE and waiting to be DISCOVERED! All you need to do is trust.

    All day I’ve been reminded of an event on the south coast of NSW Australia. I was directed by some folks at a beachfront campground to the “largest fig tree in Australia” which I promptly followed the directions to, and truly it was amazing. A few months later I was at an Aboriginal community in the same neck of the woods visiting an Elder to whom I was describing this amazing tree. He laughed heartily and exclaimed, “they reckoned this was the LARGEST fig tree in Australia! How hilarious!”

    It is all a matter of perspective. Considering that the Aboriginal Australians are the longest living “race” of humans on the planet ~ some 6,000+ years ~ I am certain the Elders are well aware, through their mythology, of the nature of the electric universe. Maybe since Wal Thornton is from Victoria, he was listening. Victoria and South Australia are very deeply embraced by Aboriginal culture.

    Sharing mythology is the key to understanding and the basis of every scientific theory.

  131. Suranda (14:36:27) :
    All you need to do is trust.
    Like trust in Al Gore :-)
    Trust is different from Know. If you don’t know, you can substitute trust and be happy.

  132. My apologies for my last post! Australian Aborigines are 40,000 years (Mungo Man) old, but it’s actually closer to 100,000 years. I meant to type 36,000 years last night, but even that wasn’t quite correct.

    As for the “trust” thing Dr Svalgaard, I’m referring to the many models of verification of the electric universe. But then I’m just a novice woo-woo.

    Global warming Al Gore is a whole different subject ~ if people knew how close humanity came to complete slavery through this ETS global warming plan, Gore would be imprisoned for all his lies, but really he was just a puppet.

  133. Suranda (05:44:49) :
    As for the “trust” thing Dr Svalgaard, I’m referring to the many models of verification of the electric universe.
    Since they are all invalid, you have to rely on ‘trust’, and so you do.

  134. The data is there. Proof is there. Facts are facts. The universe is electric.

    Your understanding of the nature of the cosmos and the Sun is flawed. Profoundly flawed. Otherwise you would have answers as to why the Sun is now behaving the way it is.

    Dr Svalgaard, you are in denial.

    And I will take my kool aid with a twist of lime, thank you!

  135. Suranda (13:02:27) :
    Dr Svalgaard, you are in denial.
    Of the EU. Absolutely yes. But is is comforting that somebody out there has trust and has all the answers to how the cosmos and the Sun work.

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