NASA's Kepler telescope spots 'invisible' planet duo

Scientists belonging to the Harvard University have made a claim that the universe is also home to two ‘alien’ planets, which they refer to as being ‘invisible’. Named Kepler-19b and Kepler-19c, the existence of these alien planets was first affirmed when NASA’s Kepler telescope spotted the Kepler-19b, when it passed in front of its host star. The existence of Kepler-19c was affirmed when the 'transits' of Kepler-19b was taken a note of. According to an official post on the Kepler (Ames Research Center) website, it has been revealed that Kepler-19c's gravity is largely dependent on that of Kepler-19b, which invariably shifts the former's orbit. 

Kepler-19c (foreground), Kepler-19b (the dot visible)

Kepler-19c (foreground), Kepler-19b (the dot visible)

 

The researchers claim that the discovery of the invisible planets is not the only achievement they're enjoying. Reportedly, a new technology which initiated the discovery has earned its first success. Transit Timing Variation, or TTV, had been put in place to aid discoveries of such 'exoplanets', and TTV has completed its debut mission successfully. The method, essentially studies the differences in the brightness of a star resulting out of a planet's movement across itself. When viewed from a telescope, Kepler's in this case, some light is blocked, which is inferred to be the passage of a planet. The planet, Kepler-19b is being believed to be located almost 650 light years away from Earth, in the constellation, Lyra. 


Published Date: Sep 14, 2011 02:20 pm | Updated Date: Sep 14, 2011 02:20 pm