Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monsters, Spinners and an Exo-Earth

Hey Space Placers!

I have to put Part 2 of Moon news in Wed's blog as breaking news on three big stories that came out......

The largest black holes ever discovered were found in two nearby (relatively speaking) giant elliptical galaxies. These 10 billion solar mass monsters break the previous record of 6+ billion solar masses. Read More About it: http://www.gemini.edu/node/11703.

The fastest rotating massive star ever discovered was found to be spinning at its' equator at 600 km/sec which is right at the limit before the star would tear apart. The star has a complex history and will die someday in spectacular fashion. Read More About It: http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=2605

An exo-Earth may have been discovered by NASA's exo-planet hunting Kepler spacecraft. As stated by NASA, "the newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don't yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets." 
Read More About It: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/kepler/news/kepscicon-briefing.html

An artist's concept of Kepler-22b

Sky Guy in VA

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