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Karro
08-13-2009, 12:32 PM
A planet that orbits backwards? (http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20090812/sc_space/newfoundplanetorbitsbackward)

I needed someplace populated almost entirely by nerds to find somone who would appreciate this...

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 12:55 PM
Busted!
*puts up his hand*
My name is Max, and i am a geek.

It's interesting, they mention examples like Triton, where they figure it orbits in reverse because it was captured while moving that direction relative to the planet. But no one thought to speculate that WASP 17 might have been captured, instead of formed?

I think that is cool, but one of the other comments got me wondering too..
"WASP-17 is the 17th extrasolar planet found by the WASP project, which monitors hundreds of thousands of stars, watching for small dips in their light when a planet transits in front of them."

So how many planets are we missing because we're not viewing all the systems on the plane of their ecliptic?

*ponders*

Steel General
08-13-2009, 01:03 PM
"WASP-17" - Where WASP stands for What A Strange Place :D

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 01:13 PM
Hahahaha
That's great, glad I thought of it :P

Karro
08-13-2009, 01:25 PM
So how many planets are we missing because we're not viewing all the systems on the plane of their ecliptic?

*ponders*

Hmm. Interesting question. I knew that's how they looked for planets, but I never considered the thought of what if we weren't looking at the ecliptic.

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 01:31 PM
I'm sure someone in the program has thought of it (and if not, shame on them, lol). I imagine it's a matter of waiting until we get sufficiently capable equipment that can detect such things at such a distance.

But if you think about it, we've found 17 with this method alone.. there's got to be dozens more for each one we do find. Woot!

waldronate
08-13-2009, 01:45 PM
I think, therefore I am a nerd.
Cogito, ergo sum nerdem.


Nerd is neuter? It explains so much. Of course, my Latin was never that good to begin with and has grown decrepit with time so I may have mistranslated it.

waldronate
08-13-2009, 01:52 PM
The likelihood of spotting a transiting planet is a function of the orbital radius and planetary radius, if I recall. If it's big and close, it's more likely that you'll see it if for no other reason that it will modulate the light of the primary frequently. Farther out means a much bigger volume of space that can miss the planet. As it turns out,
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=probability+of+spotting+a+transiting+planet&aq=f&oq=&aqi=
has a lot to say on the subject.

Coyotemax
08-13-2009, 02:13 PM
Woot for wikipedia!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methods_of_detecting_extrasolar_planets
Lots of references on this one, whcih is nice.

Karro
08-13-2009, 03:00 PM
Nerd is neuter? It explains so much. Of course, my Latin was never that good to begin with and has grown decrepit with time so I may have mistranslated it.

It's the third declension accusative, and actually in this case I believe this is masculine, although in retrospect, a neuter would've been more appropriate (nerds can be both male and female, after all). However, since I'm talking about myself, I'm roughly satisfied with how I've translated it. ;)

Karro
08-13-2009, 04:38 PM
A corollary to the OP:

New Hope for Intelligent Life (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32403430/ns/technology_and_science-space)