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back to article Planet hunters double down with FOUR-STAR SYSTEM

A group of amateur astronomers trawling through the vast store of data captured by the Kepler spacecraft has helped turned up a gem: a planet orbiting a double star, with another two stars in a more distant orbit. The discovery was made by Planethunters.org which, led by Yale University, lets “citizen scientists” (aren’t …

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Happy

Fascinating. What a remarkable star-system.

Two binaries - I'll bet the maths of that system is interesting. How do they model it in the mathematical sense? Do the first consider the relationships "within" each pair as if they were two independent binaries and then consider each pair as one object which is then in a binary relationship with the other pair? Or can they model/calculate all the relationships between each of the four simultaneously? Anyone in a position to contribute to my education?

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Re: Fascinating. What a remarkable star-system.

See: N-body problem.

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@TheOtherHobbes Re: "See: N-body problem"

Very interesting. Solutions for multi-body systems have clearly been occupying mathematicians and astronomers for a very long time. That it has been so challenging is clear from the fact that solutions for systems of four bodies or more had to wait until the 1990s. Thanks very much for that link - very informative and led me on to some more extensive googling in fact. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fascinating. What a remarkable star-system.

If you are not bothered about a closed form solution or relativistic effects, you can always sum F=GM1M2/R^2 over all the body pairings.Take the bodies start positions and velocities at time=t, calculate net F for each body and then calculate the bodies final position and velocity at time=t+dt (where dt is very small indeed!) using standard equations of motion. Throw in angular position and velocity for good measure if you like!

You can find initial starting positions and velocities of our own solar system's massive bodies from JPL's ephemeris in pretty much any reference frame you can think of...

http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons

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Re: Fascinating. What a remarkable star-system.

I can't help thinking what the night sky must look like from a hypothetical habitable planet in that system. Some really spectacular sunrises and sunsets, I'll bet.

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Re: Fascinating. What a remarkable star-system.

In this case I think that two of the stars are some umpteen times further away from the planet than it is from the first two - enough that they'd be bright specks at best.

Still, two suns would make for some nice scenery.

On the other hand, can you imagine trying to figure out daylight savings time on a planet with four suns? Ye gods...

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Coat

It'd be a five-star system if they had a gym and suites with jacuzzis...

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Five Star?

Do you mean like this lot?

http://www.fivestarofficial.com/

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Anonymous Coward

I like to think that....

I like to think that with each new exoplanet discovered, the creationists argument gets very much weaker and weaker.

Not that it was ever a strong argument to begin with.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I like to think that....

You would think so, wouldn't you - but creationists have never let scientific evidence get in their way before. Why now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I like to think that....

How is that so? Each rock of iron ore I find does not prove Ford never made a car out of iron, does it? I only need to find one car with Ford written on it to show they make cars.

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Facepalm

Re: I like to think that....

Let us know when you find that planet with; "A god(tm) product" written on it.......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I like to think that....

Ok. <looks down>

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Angel

scientists and citizens

she clearly meant ''boffins', who transcend state boundaries.

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Re: scientists and citizens

By "citizen scientists", I think they mean people who aren't professionally trained aa scientists, but highly-knowledgeable enthusiasts with a high capacity for initiative and self-education... kind of like the "citizen journalists" you hear so much about these days.

As I recall, Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto, was a "citizen astronomer" as well.

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(aren’t scientists citizens? - Reg)

Only in dangersous commie-run european countries.

In the coming New Biblical America all scientists will be hunted down using our high-tech weaponry given to us by God.

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Re: (aren’t scientists citizens? - Reg)

Or the reptilians

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Anonymous Coward

And George Hamilton packs his bags....

And George Hamilton packs his bags...

Joke explanation follows:

Mr. Hamilton is an actor well known for the level of tan he maintains.

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Re: And George Hamilton packs his bags....

....Mr. Hamilton is an actor well known for the level of tan he maintains.

Y'know, I strongly suspect George Hamilton of using spray-on tan. I've seen photos of him going back to the early '70s, and his tan looks entirely unnatural, like a color you can't get even with hours on the beach or on a tanning bed. It almost looks like John Boehner's cheap "tan".

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Coat

Needs six stars.

Nightfall, Asimov.

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Substandard Accommodations

I simply will not stay on a planet with less then 5 stars.

Give me my jacket. I'm leaving.

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