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Israeli researchers share in the discovery of corot-9b, the coldest large planet discovered so far

A new extrasolar planet has been discovered passing by its parent star, and could teach about the development of giant planets in similar systems.

Planet Corot 9b
Planet Corot 9b
The French CoRoT spacecraft discovered a new planet passing by its parent star. The new planet, -9b CoRoT, whose discovery was attended by 60 astronomers from all over the world, including Prof. Zvi Maza and Avi Shaforer from Tel Aviv University, will allow another way to examine how planets outside the solar system develop. The finding regarding the planet was published today in the prestigious journal Nature.

The CoRoT spacecraft, operated by the French space agency CNES, has discovered a planet orbiting a sun-like star in the Serpentine constellation about 1,500 light-years from Earth. The planet, named CoRoT-9b, passes in front of its sun once every 95 days, partially blocking the light coming from the star.

Hans Deeg from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), who is at the head of the group of researchers, explains the importance of the discovery: "Of all the planets that were discovered using the light hiding method, this is the first planet that has a moderate temperature - which can be in the range between minus 20 and 150 degrees Celsius". The exact temperature depends on the planet's atmosphere and its ability to absorb the radiation of the sun closest to it.

Professor Zvi Maza from Tel Aviv University and his student Avi Shaforer, who is currently in post-doctoral training in Santa Barbara, are the only Israelis who participated in the discovery team. The eclipse of CoRoT-9b was first detected by the CoRoT satellite after continuous observations for 150 days in the summer of 2008. After the discovery using the spacecraft data, the international team of CoRoT observed the star from various observatories around the world, including those located in the Canary Islands, Chile and Hawaii, along with observations made at the observatory The stars of Tel Aviv University in the Negev. The ground observations allowed the identification of the star as a planet.

Despite the enormous distance to the discovered planet, its size and mass can be estimated from the observations, and from that get its average density. This figure is extremely important for understanding the processes of creation and development of a planet. "During the last decade, it was only possible to get these data for planets whose orbits are very close to their sun," says Professor Maza. "The planets whose densities have been measured so far are greatly affected by the tremendous radiation they receive from their sun." "CoRoT-9b" is the first planet whose density we know that moves in an orbit far enough from its sun," explains Professor Maza, "and therefore it provides us with a clear and clean test of the theories that have been developed regarding the way in which giant planets develop. The measured density corresponds to the accepted theoretical estimates".

"The new planet consists mainly of hydrogen and helium," says Tristan Guillot from the Observatory of the Blue Coast in Nice on the French Riviera. "However, it may contain up to 20 times the mass of the Earth in the form of ice and compressed rocks. Therefore, it is quite similar to the giant planets of our solar system - Jupiter and Saturn."

According to Professor Maza "the progress in the study of planets outside the solar system is enormous. It's amazing to think that twenty-five years ago not a single planet was known outside of our solar system. In a relatively short period of time, many different and varied planetary systems were discovered, some of them very different from the planets in our system. The universe has many more surprises in store for us."

18 תגובות

  1. Kobi,
    Look around and see what the human race is up to.
    We will not travel at the speed of light nor will we jump distances through wormholes.
    To be realistic, the race to end our existence here is between self-destruction and cosmic catastrophe (which statistically will arrive long before the wormhole).

    By the way, all the sayings and refutations you talk about, by whom were they established, and by whom were they refuted?
    By people, right?
    The degree of human development on a cosmic scale cannot be measured by him because his point of view is not objective - on such a scale.
    That's why my friend, my advice is to stop giving ourselves grades, keep exploring the universe and try to live as quiet a life as possible.

  2. Ronan, I'm sorry but I was not convinced by your argument.
    Yes, there is nothing new in the fact that on a cosmic scale our development is minimal... and in exactly the same way - will it be considered greater if we manage to settle on other planets like Mars? Even if humans settle on planets outside the solar system, will it be possible to define humanity as a significant force in the universe?
    It is clear that even then we will be nothing compared to the "nature" of the cosmos.

    I am not saying that in the future humans will decipher all the codes of the universe and be its masters - all I am saying is that there is no point in determining what man cannot develop, and where he cannot reach, because such statements have already been disproved countless times.

    As an addendum, regarding your "feeling" that we won't be able to fly at the speed of light - I understand what is behind this "feeling" - but this also stems from the same mental fixation I talked about earlier. This does not necessarily have to be flight in the standard sense of the word, but also a distortion of the time-space sword and a "jump" in it. Things that are obviously very far from implementation, but have a theoretical basis.

  3. Dear Kobe,
    Flying at the speed of light, how can I say... I have a feeling we won't succeed.

    It's all a matter of scale.
    For creatures like us, the technological progress we have made is undoubtedly amazing. But on a cosmic scale we haven't moved even a thousandth of a millimeter. We managed to get out some radio transmissions (which will reach the nearest stars for decades and centuries) and two spacecraft that are approaching the outer parts of the solar system and will not reach anywhere in the next million years.

  4. I don't understand how some of you are so sure exactly what things future technology will not be able to create.

    After all, concepts such as motorized vehicles, airplanes, wireless communication, robots, computers, landing on the moon and what not seemed to humans a few thousand years ago to be just as absurd and ridiculous as how concepts such as flying at the speed of light or colonizing other planets are seen today (Actually, in my opinion they seemed much more far-fetched and some of them the humans could not even imagine, literally).

    I think many would agree that the development of technology happens exponentially, so it is likely that we will not have to wait thousands of years (but many times less) for things that are hard to even imagine to be developed.

    A great Greek sage once said (forgive my ignorance, I remember who exactly - as I think Plato) that humanity at the time reached its peak in terms of technology. So voila, some not so insignificant things have been developed since then (and I don't pretend for a moment to think myself on the intellectual level of that sage).

  5. I don't know if the source of life was created here or came from outer space but I'm pretty sure we will all die here.
    The human race will not be able to develop technologies that will allow it to live outside the earth, and even if it does (let's say on Mars) it does not seem realistic that we will be able to survive there any more than we will be able to survive here. To really get out of here, we would find a planet similar to Earth and reach it - we will not be able to do that.
    The only chance of preserving the human race is to send into space (with the goal of finding evidence of life or the possibility of life in other solar systems), to send in their direction human genetic material and sufficient information to create a human prototype, there on the target planet - if there is someone who can deal with it.
    Therefore, my friend, start thinking about a suitable will that we will leave here for all the species that will come after us here on the planet. Maybe they can get out of here...

  6. I think we should learn from the facts on the ground:
    We produce and shoot about a trillion seeds in our lifetime (men)
    But you end up with one child, two or three.

    My assumption is that all organisms here on earth started from a single organism
    In other words, all organisms here on earth have some ancient parent organism.

    So probably all the life we ​​have left on planet "Earth" we just need to shoot seeds
    An ancient organism that will hit all kinds of balls and maybe our whole evolution will start over

  7. At the risk of contradicting myself (I like to contradict myself) I say this:

    As a race, the human race is a child whose attitude to its own existence is that of a child.

    Life on earth began about a billion years ago
    Modern man is about 200,000 years old.
    Our sun will turn into a red giant in about 5 billion years (plus or minus two months), but already in about a billion years life on earth will end.

    2 billion years of grace on earth.
    200,000 years of human history (recorded and estimated).
    Another one billion for the maniac.

    Put these pair of numbers side by side:

    Even as an avid science fiction fan, I find it difficult to see how the human race manages to exist for another 1,000,000,000 years even though it has at its disposal faster-than-light means of propulsion, gravity engines, blasters, probability engines, a wormhole generator in every iPhone, transporters, and machines that know how to make tea worthy of its name.

  8. Ruhama:
    It's not that crazy.
    Although it is still a vision for the time, we know that the sun is expected to end its life as a red giant and that it will expand and make the earth an uninhabitable place even before that.
    In the long run - the sun is a certain threat to the earth.
    The black hole at the center of the galaxy is not a threat in the next hundreds of billions of years.
    In fact, its growth does not - and will not - have any effect on us forever, and this is because the mass that will fall into it is a mass that is in any case near it and its gravity affects us equally - whether it is outside the black hole or inside it. Black holes do not "attract" more strongly than other bodies of the same mass - be they stars, star clusters or interstellar gas.
    The only reason that can cause us to fall into the black hole in the billions, is the loss of the sun's kinetic energy and its conversion into gravitational waves, but as mentioned - the fate of the earth was decided long before that, and so was the fate of the entire solar system (since at some point it will fade and will not be able to provide heat energy to the stars around).

  9. This has truly become a constant mantra of the space and planetary research side:
    "...It is clear to everyone (or at least to those who are interested) that humans must go outside the Earth at some point in the future."

    Why ?
    Why is it so obvious?
    Because our global planning is to exploit and suck the resources of this blue planet to the fullest and then continue to the next planet?
    Or maybe because there are innumerable blue stars in space full of life with a temperature that suits us exactly and a composition of atmospheric gases that suits us exactly?

    Oh wait, I know why. Because a large, red and ominous asteroid is on a collision course with the Earth (Aliba de Nostradamus / Leonardo da Vinci / Oren Zarif) and the best idea is to find some other planet that we will try to flatten / dig into its depths / build geodesic domes on it.

    And I'm currently ignoring the ever-growing black hole at the center of our galaxy. If the kidney comes to us from there, I am satisfied if we ever succeed in producing technology that will allow us to colonize other galaxies (little faith like me).

  10. I really don't understand those who call to colonize Mars and other planets. After all, on Earth there are vast areas on land, on the sea, and in case there are no areas left to grow food, it is possible to grow it under the sea as well. The technological challenges that are expected for those who will settle in the oceans on rigs and the like or underwater agriculture are minor compared to settling Mars.

  11. Michael,
    It will also be recorded that you claim that there will be no peace between us and the Palestinians in the next 43 years,
    that the origin of the golden cauldron is not in the Byzantine period, and also that it cannot be given to a thousand bats.
    Now, to anyone who has proof that these claims are wrong, please come forward and attack Michael.

  12. gift:
    I never claimed it was impossible!
    I don't know why everyone keeps attributing such a statement to me.
    I really suggest you read the things you are commenting on!
    By the way, in the current discussion I didn't say anything at all until this moment.

  13. To Michael R.
    Are you claiming that it is not possible that life began outside the earth?
    NASA thinks otherwise, and claims that indeed life began from an extraterrestrial source!
    My guess - that the first prototype of the cell was created by a factor at a higher level than our technological ability!

  14. A. Ben-Har Shalom. I'm aware of everything you mentioned, but no, apparently you didn't understand the main point of my words...
    I meant that it is clear to everyone (or at least to those in the know) that humans must go outside the earth at some point in the future. The only option and I emphasize!! The only one right now is Mars since we have no knowledge of any other place and/or resources to even reach Mars right now let alone a planet that is outside the solar system everything we know about such stars is based on physics and science that will change hundreds of times until we actually leave the borders of the solar system. That is why humans must allocate all our limited time and resources here on Earth to explore and glorify Mars. We simply have no other choice. Any research and investment of money elsewhere is simply very much a luxury!

  15. to a colleague
    Mars also causes problems.
    Yesterday I was at Jonathan Weintraub's lecture at the Astronomical Club, about life on Mars.
    To my question, is there a plan (even if only theoretical) to create a Martian atmosphere that would be suitable for human habitation? He answered that, the explanation is that due to the non-existence of a magnetic field on Mars, Mars cannot maintain a sufficiently dense atmosphere for a long time. The lack of the magnetic field prevents the Martian atmosphere from protection against the "solar wind", aka the cosmic radiation emitted from the sun. The result is the leakage of the Martian atmosphere into space at a much faster rate than in the Earth.
    Life on Mars is also exposed to strong and extremely harmful solar radiation such as cosmic radiation, UV radiation and X-ray radiation. And where is the water and food?... In short, not easy.

  16. I'm starting to think that we'll never be able to get out of the solar system.. It seems as if it's technologically impossible to reach the speed of light and even if it were possible, 1500 light years!! We are supposed to concentrate all the resources we currently have exclusively on Mars! The only Raleigh place (somehow) with future settlement potential. A waste of our money and time elsewhere. We will turn to this after significant technological progress.

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