Transit graph: Kepler measures the brightness of stars

 

Kepler measures the brightness of stars. The data will look like an EKG showing the heart beat. Whenever a planet passes in front of its parent star as viewed from the spacecraft, a tiny pulse or beat is produced. From the repeated beats we can detect and verify the existence of Earth-size planets and learn about the orbit and size of the planet. The scientific data from Kepler come in a different way than most astronomy missions. The Kepler spacecraft will not produce pretty pictures or even colorful spectrograms, but rather light curves derived from brightness changes collected from transits.

Four Large Flares in 48 Hours

A very energetic active region right at the Sun’s edge blasted out four X-class flares (largest class) in two days (May 13-15, 2013), as well as several less flares. The active region is rotating around so that it will be facing Earth in about a week. The flares, observed in extreme UV light by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, are seen as bright flashes. They were: an X1.7 flare on May 13 at 02:21 UT; an X2.8 flare on May 13 at 16:07 UT; an X3.2 on May 14 at 01:46 UT; and an X1 on May 15 at 01:44 UT .

Proxima Centauri ‘Earth-like’ planet

Proxima Centauri ‘Earth-like’ planet

Proxima Centauri 

 

Proxima Centauri was discovered by in august 2016, and is located over 4.2 billion light years, it’s the closest planet found out side our solar system in 20 years, it also sits perfectly in the habitable zone, where its not too hot nor too cold, for water to exist, which is one of the big conditions for a planet.

due to the distance it is from our planet, it makes it hard to identify if theirs any signs of life.

James Manners from University of Exeter stated:

“One of the main features that distinguishes this planet from Earth is that the light from its star is mostly in the near infra-red,”

However a lot more research and work is required before they fully understand if this planet can host life.

Facts and Information

Distance to Earth: 4.243 light years or 25 trillion miles from Earth
B−V color index: 1.82
U−B color index: 1.26
Absolute magnitude (MV): 15.60
Apparent magnitude (J): 5.357 ± 0.023
Luminosity (visual, LV): 0.00005 L
Mass: 0.123 ± 0.006
Radius: 0.141 ± 0.007
Estimated mass is at least 1.3 times that of the Earth.
Orbital period of approximately 11.2 Earth days
More Information can be found on: https://www.nasa.gov/proxima-centauri
Proxima Centauri planet