Showing posts from January, 2012

On this date in 1610, Galileo wrote a letter..

Source:  Garrison Keillor, Writer's Almanac Excerpt: On this date in 1610, Galileo wrote a letter describing his discovery of three of Jupiter's moons. He had recently made some improvements to his telescope, and he discovered them in December. As he continued to observe them over the next few months, a fourth celestial body appeared, and he realized that they were actually orbiting the giant planet.

Astronomers describe new class of planetary system

Source:   NSF   Press Release 12-007   Excerpt: Research [published in the January 12 issue of the journal Nature] presented today at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society indicates that circumbinary planetary systems--planets that orbit two stars--are not rare, rather that millions may exist in the Milky Way alone. At a press conference today, William Welsh of San Diego State University described Kepler 34b and Kepler 35b, the newest additions to this new class of planetary systems.  "The eclipses of the stars allow us to measure the properties of the stars with exquisite precision," said Welsh, "which in turn allows us to measure the planet properties."