Super-Neptune

Planet Alert! There’s a new kid on the block—only 11 million years old, and five times the size of Earth. Talk about new and improved! This cosmic toddler is a mere babe in the woods compared to our 4.5 billion year old Earth.

Bigger than Texas. Reading about planets and stars doesn’t take away the mystery as much as it puts our existence into perspective. Andrew Mann, part of the discovery team, and the first author of the story on Super-Neptune, called our fair little Lone Star State his home while attending UT. Sorry TAMU fans! Even die hard, tried and true Texans must admit that the Lone Star state pales in comparison to some of our galaxy findings.

Links to Space. While the National Optical Astronomy Observatory is probably not on most of our radars, there is some fascinating information to be found. The findings about Super-Neptune are available at: https://www.noao.edu/news/2016/pr1602.php . During the same time Andrew Mann and team were making their discovery, another group was working on a similar project. See abstract at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v534/n7609/full/nature18293.html . And, a quick glance with a Google search finds a Brazilian astronomer discussing similar findings. I don’t know how turf wars work when it comes to outer space, so I better not say too much!

Migration Theory. “The discovery of the planet may make or break the migration theory. Migration theory states that large planets were formed far from their host star and migrate inwards overtime. However, K2-33b is so close to its parent star in its early ages, suggesting that if migration occurs, it might happen quickly. It is also possible that giant planets can in fact be formed near their star, debunking the migration theory.” John Raphael, http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/24009/20160621/kepler-detects-newborn-super-neptune-orbiting-young-star.htm

Way outside the Box. You probably should consider me as an unreliable source since I am still wondering how fair Pluto got moved off the planet list. For a real source and a wealth of knowledge, head to Nature or NOAO’s websites. Your readings will not only have you thinking outside of the box, but also beyond our planet.

Corny Quotes for the Road. For today’s pre-space surfing chuckle, you’ll find two quotes from Evan Esar in 20,000 Quips & Quotes:

  • “An astronaut is the only man who runs around in circles—and gets somewhere.”
  • “An astronaut is a man most likely to go far.”

Tonight drink a glass of Pinot Noir while you wish upon a star.

LK

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