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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2013 > Mar > Mar 14

Re: We Don't Understand...

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 15:02:09 -0000
Archived: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 09:28:39 -0500
Subject: Re: We Don't Understand...


>From: Gerald O'Connell <goc.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:08:29 -0000
>Subject: Re: We Don't Understand...

<snip>

>One wonders, for example, how the earth/moon system might look
>from these sort of distances. Perhaps some of the 'megaplanets'
>that we are starting to see will turn out to be similar or more
>complex systems.

>Do any listers have a feel for whether current observations are
>sufficiently finely tuned to support this type of distinction?
>Or, to be more precise, has the data analysis even asked the
>question?

That's an interesting question, Gerald. It does seem to be
assumed that these masses are single bodies.

Are there cases where we have a planet detected both
gravitationally and optically? In such a case a known brightness
and a known mass would limit the surface area and thereby the
density for a range of albedos and might serve to discriminate a
composite system of many moons (or a cloud of dust etc) from a
solid planet. Maybe there is an argument which extrapolates from
a few such confirmed cases to the generality?

Note that these superjupiters are in the order of several
thousand earth masses, which would imply a heck of a lot of
moons. But I suppose we ought to expect moon systems like those
we see in our solar system where a number of satellites carry a
small fraction of the total mass/momentum, and there might well
be more surprising arrangements out there.

Anyway I looked up exomoons and found some references. It
appears that using Kepler it might be possible, amazaingly, to
detect moons by the small changes they cause in transit times,
and "the hunt is on" already:

http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/HEK/about_hek.html

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2104376,00.html


Martin Shough




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