Cosmic masquerade: Habitable planet i...

Cosmic masquerade: Habitable planet isn't planet

There are 3 comments on the WFMJ-TV Youngstown story from Jul 3, 2014, titled Cosmic masquerade: Habitable planet isn't planet. In it, WFMJ-TV Youngstown reports that:

A new study says a planet outside our solar system thought to be in the so-called Goldilocks zone is not even a real planet, but a cosmic masquerade.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WFMJ-TV Youngstown.

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#1 Jul 4, 2014
How can "magnetic outbursts" be mistaken for the gravitational perturbations measured in these planetary detections? Somebody smok'n crack?!?
SpaceBlues

United States

#2 Jul 4, 2014
RHill wrote:
How can "magnetic outbursts" be mistaken for the gravitational perturbations measured in these planetary detections? Somebody smok'n crack?!?
This is how..

The M dwarf Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet. The detection of another habitable-zone planet—GJ 581 g—is disputed, as its significance depends on the eccentricity assumed for d. Analyzing stellar activity using the Hα line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for Hα modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5σ) while significantly boosting the signals of the other known super-Earth planets. GJ 581d does not exist, but is an artifact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g.[science]

“Blue Collar Philosopher”

Since: Nov 08

Texas, USA

#3 Jul 8, 2014
SpaceBlues wrote:
<quoted text>This is how..
The M dwarf Gliese 581 is believed to host four planets, including one (GJ 581d) near the habitable zone that could possibly support liquid water on its surface if it is a rocky planet. The detection of another habitable-zone planet—GJ 581 g—is disputed, as its significance depends on the eccentricity assumed for d. Analyzing stellar activity using the H&#945; line, we measure a stellar rotation period of 130 ± 2 days and a correlation for H&#945; modulation with radial velocity. Correcting for activity greatly diminishes the signal of GJ 581d (to 1.5&#963;) while significantly boosting the signals of the other known super-Earth planets. GJ 581d does not exist, but is an artifact of stellar activity which, when incompletely corrected, causes the false detection of planet g.[science]
So the "stellar activity" is effected by magnetic outbursts and can screw up the reliability of the detection? I thought they were looking at periodic dimming of the star's measured brightness due to the presence of planetary bodies between us and the star. Not sure where I came up with "gravitational perturbations" ... the old days I guess ... like that astronomer who measured the 'wobble' in Bernard's Star motion through space.

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