A Little About Kepler-10b

January 15, 2011 at 12:58 AM (Uncategorized)

It is an evening where I have found myself reading.  Of course, I managed to make my way toward several subjects involving space studies.  One website from astronomy.com gave information about recent discoveries and studies.

The Kepler Space Telescope has been sent on a mission into deep space, with the purpose of locating and examining exoplanets.  Launched in March of 2009, Kepler has located five planets that exist beyond our solar system.  It’s mission is to discover as many exoplanets as possible as it travels through The Milky Way.  Amazingly, in a seemingly short amount of time, the telescope has managed to find a planet that has some qualities like our Earth!

Well, truthfully, none of the planets that Kepler has found is exactly like our Earth.  Yet, Kepler did arrive at this region of space, studying the area from May 2009 to January 2010.  During this time, the satellite encountered it’s first exoplanet with qualities that place it in the category of terrestrially similar worlds.  Designated as Kepler-10b, this world orbits it’s host star at a location equal to twenty times closer than Mercury orbits The Sun.

Of course, that makes Kepler-10b hot!  Studying scientists state that the side of the world facing the star, Kepler-10, is at an estimated average temperature of roughly 2,420 degrees, Fahrenheit.  Yet, Kepler-10b is tidally locked, meaning that one side of the world always faces it’s star.  So, whereas one side endures hellish heat, the other side could be curiously cold.  Kepler-10 is a g-class star, like The Sun, emitting similar levels of heat. 

Further studies of Kepler-10b show that it is extremely dense!  The precise composition of the planet is not known, but it is believed that the world is comprised mostly of metal and rock.  The proximity of the planet to the star will not allow for flowing water, and it has mostly no atmosphere.  As it is so close to Kepler-10, some scientists speculate that orbital interactions between Kepler-10b and it’s star will cause it eventually to be pulled into the star, being evaporated!

Kepler-10b is estimated to be forty percent larger than Earth.  It is 4.6 times as heavy as our world.  It orbits Kepler-10 within an amazingly short length of time; twenty full hours for one orbit!  Kepler-10 is located somewhere between the constellations Cygnus and Lyra.  This puts it at an incredible 560 light years away!

Post image for Kepler telescope finds first rocky planet beyond the Milky Way







Aside:  Joan Rivers is on Letterman, and she is tearing Snooki up!  SOOO Funny!!!!!




Check out some Raphael Saadiq!




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