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back to article Super-SVELTE BLUSH-PINK planet goes too far with star

Astronomers have detected a low-mass giant planet that challenges existing theories about how bigger worlds are formed. Jupiterlike low mass exoplanet GJ 504b Artist's impression ... the Jupiter-like low-mass exoplanet GJ 504b The Jupiter-sized world, dubbed GJ 504b, was found much further out in its star's orbit than a …

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Joke

Barbie girl, landing on a Barbie world

This is an accessory to the Mars Explorer Barbie, isn't it?

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Re: Barbie girl, landing on a Barbie world

Actually, isnt one of the demonstrator worlds made by Magrothea in the original Hitchikers guide TV series purpley pink?

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Boffin

At last, real scientific method!

"Its discovery implies that we need to seriously consider alternative formation theories, or perhaps to reassess some of the basic assumptions in the core-accretion theory."

Climate scientists take note, this is how you do science!

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WTF?

Re: At last, real scientific method!

Blueberry farmers unite! ....WTF are you on about?

I'm going to go ahead and nominate your comment for dumbassery of the day.

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Holmes

Re: At last, real scientific method!

WTF are you on about?

My guess is that he was thinking something along the lines of "when you come across reliable data that don't fit your theories, you rework the theories to fit the data, not the other way around".

Yes, I know. Poor naive fool will never get tenure with notions like that!

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Happy

Re: At last, real scientific method!

quote: "Blueberry farmers unite! ....WTF are you on about?

I'm going to go ahead and nominate your comment for dumbassery of the day."

I suspect the intent was to point out that when faced with data that did not fit the model, these scientists first reaction was:

"Its discovery implies that we need to seriously consider alternative formation theories, or perhaps to reassess some of the basic assumptions in the core-accretion theory." (emphasis mine)

I'm not sure I've seen as much willingness to consider alternate theories or reassess core assumptions in some other (highly fashionable) models, when faced with data that does not fit; it's almost as if some people have an emotional investment in the current model and don't want to believe it might be flawed. I'm a climate agnostic though, so feel free to dismiss my opinion as the ramblings of an idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about :)

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Re: At last, real scientific method!

From where I stand, it looks like the denialists are the ones who won't shift, despite the evidence saying they should.

(Real) climate scientists have never stopped re-evaluating their data and their models. The fact that the core thesis remains undisturbed has nothing to do with ideological stubborness, but with the robustness of the core physics.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and we've been pumping more and more of it into the atmosphere. That it will lead to warming is inescapable. How much, and when - remain to be discovered.

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Re: At last, real scientific method!

Because, it's always best to discard a theory before seeking reasons that one observation out of hundreds don't fit said theory.

It's not like binary or trinary star systems exist and one ends up ejected later. Not at all.

It's not like CO2 or methane is a greenhouse gas, not at all. The oil companies say they're not.

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Re: almost as if some people have an emotional investment in the current model

Much of science history is littered with the debris of these kinds of arguments. Many of us have forgotten that when Einstein originally proposed eliminating "the ether" from physics he met with fierce opposition from the scientific establishment. It was a bedrock foundation underlying all other assumptions and doing away with it was a threat to all of science.

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Re: almost as if some people have an emotional investment in the current model

" It was a bedrock foundation underlying all other assumptions and doing away with it was a threat to all of science."

It think you are retconning history quite a bit here.

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Re: almost as if some people have an emotional investment in the current model

And now "the ether" has simply been renamed to dark energy/dark matter and re-inserted into physics.

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Facepalm

A low-luminosity dwarf appears

> "the ether" has simply been renamed to dark energy/dark matter

Yah no.

Don't make a fool of yourself. You should perform some reading first.

There should be a library nearby. Oh wait, there is the Internet.

"The ether" == Special reference system which is the medium which transports light. The only one in which lightspeed is "c". REJECTED.

"The modern vacuum" == Something resembling a superconductor with quite a bit of additional solid state physics imagery in which "c" is constant however you move through it (Poincaré symmetry). ACCEPTED. May be exactly the same as the gravitational field. OPEN.

"Dark matter" == Stuff which interacts gravitationally. Can be detected through observation at large scales. BEING ANALYSED.

"Dark energy" == Non-zero energy density (very small) of the vacuum. Can be detected through observation at large scales. BEING ANALYSED.

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FAIL

Re: At last, real scientific method!

Climate scientists take note, this is how you do science!

What, you mean like come up with a hypothesis, test it, model it and tweak it until it fits with what you actually see, in order to make predictions. Y'know, exactly like what climate scientist actually do, when they're not too busy fighting propaganda and disinformation?

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Re: At last, real scientific method!

@Loyal Commenter

Re: "What, you mean like come up with a hypothesis, test it, model it and tweak it until it fits with what you actually see, in order to make predictions. Y'know, exactly like what climate scientist actually do, when they're not too busy fighting propaganda and disinformation?

The tweak is one of the issues. Models only get changed to answer with the same prediction by incorporating the data and then fudging the model until it gives the future prediction desired. It is exactly what climate scientists do, but it is not proper science.

Climate Science is pathological science.

I am an increasingly fierce opponent of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming narrative. Like just about all of the rest of the skeptical world, I am not paid for it. I was not 'sold' this position. I have a background in science and research. By happenstance, I wrote a paper in the 1980s related to this area when I was in University long before this hysteria began. I have spent plenty of time reviewing this mess. In every instance where I have education and expertise I have found the Climate Alarm camp in a shambles. Anybody with a software development history could tell with a quick read that the code released in the Climategate materials was just crap. Nobody has made that much about this, but I expect the reason is, as it was with me, that the code is so poor that it seemed cruel to discuss it. That is not disinformation. Anyone with the skill to make a determination can look for the code and see for themselves. It is as shoddy as the rest of the 'Climate Science' universe.

It is not 'propaganda' to demand evidence for a truly remarkable assertion bordering on the miraculous. The living world has evolved over geologic time to survive wide variations in temperature spanning more than 80 Kelvin from about 233 degrees or less to about 313 degrees or more. In the geologic time that shaped us, the ambient temperature has ranged further than a few degrees from its present value. An unlikely worst-case drift upward of about 2% (if we see a hyperbolic 6 degree rise) is hardly going to kill us all.

We have already invested far too much time and money in the Climate Change non-problem. Meantime, as the Climate Alarm camp cries for ever more money to investigate he bogey-man, a child dies every minute from Malaria. We could prevent many of those deaths if we could divert money used on patently useless 'Climate Science' to saving lives right here and now.

I have looked at this plenty through the lens of professional experience with data analysis with real (not 'enhanced') data, and a background in science and practical research. As far as I have seen, disinformation comes nearly exclusively from the Alarmist camp. That disinformation is ridiculous in its hyperbole. Does anybody with a working noggin and any kind of technical background really believe that the constantly tossed about '97% has merit? I could not have put a figure that ridiculous past my teachers in high school. The 'Hockey Stick' is tragically stupid. Anyone with any kind of experience with actual data would, as I did and as Steve McIntyre did, do a double-take at that unusual graph. It is wrong. It is simply incorrect and anyone with much experience generating and interpreting such things suspects it at a glance. The Alarmist camp is constantly attempting to suppress inquiry and refuses to divulge information. It took literally years and legal challenges to get some of their data to double check their calculations and when it was finally checked it was wrong.

Nobody with a modicum of sense can look at the facts surrounding Climategate and believe that the villain is a malicious cracker (the real word that they confuse with hacker). That good guy took a bullet revealing the data and he took pains to reveal only as much as was needed to raise the alarm. He devoted his own time to go through it to remove personal information. The villains were and are the 'Climate Scientist' cabal perverting peer review and creating a hostile work environment for anyone that stood in their way.

Nobody could look, as I have done, at the substance of the various Climategate 'investigations' and conclude that they were anything other than a cynical whitewash.

Here is a note taken by Michael Kelly, Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge during the Oxburgh panel's review:

"(i) I take real exception to having simulation runs described as experiments (without at least the qualification of ‘computer’ experiments). It does a disservice to centuries of real experimentation and allows simulations output to be considered as real data. This last is a very serious matter, as it can lead to the idea that real ‘real data’ might be wrong simply because it disagrees with the models! That is turning centuries of science on its head."

Oxburgh, described as a 'carbon-trading wind farmer' (a frightening conflict of interest he had no problem with), went nowhere near mentioning the above. It was obtained with an FOI request.

Unlike the 'Climate Scientists' who ask you to shut off your brain, trust them and stop looking for their evidence, skeptics like me encourage you to do some digging and make an informed decision. BTW -- what honest man of science attempts to smear opponents by likening them to holocaust deniers? I am entirely unconvinced by their shoddy 'evidence', entirely broken methodology, relentlessly fallacious arguments and their patent dishonesty.

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Re: At last, real scientific method!

Why do:

1) Deniers always swarm space news articles?

2) Deniers think that denying evidence for ideological reasons is what science is all about?

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Re: A low-luminosity dwarf appears

Good luck explaining that. For some reason the same people who deny climate change and fervently believe in a Big Worldwide Conspiracy(tm) of scientists to suppress The Truth(tm), tend to also deny dark energy and/or dark matter.

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Joke

Hah something Science can't explain

It must have been put there by some unknowable and strange force possibly an invisible pink unicorn, try and explain this one scientists!

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Re: Hah something Science can't explain

invisible pink unicorn

If it's invisible, how do you know it's pink?

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Re: Hah something Science can't explain

>It must have been put there by some unknowable and strange force possibly an invisible pink unicorn,

>try and explain this one scientists!

|---------------------------------------| ^

sarcasm-o-tron (tm)

What you see is above is off-the-scale levels of sarcasm I suspect.

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@Phil Re: Hah something Science can't explain

You don't need proof if you have faith.

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FAIL

Re: Hah something Science can't explain

Because it's a Commie!

Where is gasplanetbag Rush Limbaugh?

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Re: Hah something Science can't explain

sorry .. CNN in the 2000 election turned the republicans to commie red and the dems to sky blue ..

life was easier when the dems were the commies and the repubs nazis .. ya can't tell which is which anymore

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Have temperatures gone down in Britain at least?

I notice a marked decrease in crackpot alternative astrophysical theories being advanced in this post, compared to similar news in previous weeks.

In fact I'm pleasantly surprised nobody suggested the new exoplanet was the result of Mars colliding with its parent star, or something.

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DJO
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Boffin

Orbits shmorbits

reassess some of the basic assumptions in the core-accretion theory

Possibly but there is nothing stating that a planet has to remain in the orbit where it was created, in fact there is pretty convincing evidence that the planets do change orbits as the proto-Earth was bashed by an errant planet sized body early on which (probably) created the Moon and enlarged our iron core. Either the Earth or the impacting body must have changed orbits because they couldn't have formed in orbits that crossed each other.

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Go

Re: Orbits shmorbits

I was actually thinking this as well, but I would like to believe that the scientists did think of that and after a bit more investigation (calculating how big an impact would be required to move that monster, etc.) they decided that option wasnt really on the cards.

But then again maybe I'm being too generous...

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DJO
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Re: Orbits shmorbits

Iglethal, not an impact, that is very messy but one possibility is a tiny deflection due to passing close to another body then a few million years in a prograde orbit moving away from it's sun until it finds a stable orbit, lucky not to hit anything big on the way out and also lucky not to be thrown off the ecliptic but it's a big old universe so almost any stable planetary configuration you can think of should occur somewhere or somewhen.

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Boffin

Re: Orbits shmorbits

My money is on it having an elliptical orbit, due to the gravitational influence of another similar sized body slingshotting past it at some point in the past.

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Thumb Up

*direct* imaging of the planet from 57 LY away.

We've come a long way in this area.

But damm 9x further away than Jupiter is from the Sun. That's huge

Thumbs up for the results, and what people are planning to do about it.

Exciting times.

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Unit of Measure

"30 times further out than the Earth"

Why not just say "30 au" and be done with it?

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Probably because not everyone knows what "au" means.

In addition, it is often good to give a comparison, so even if the people who don't know what "au" means will most likely have no idea of how far our Earth is from the Sun in the first place, they will still come out with the impression that they learned something.

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Facepalm

"Probably because not everyone knows what 'au' means."

Right, because God forbid anyone have to *learn* anything.

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an unlimited universe would have unlimited possibilities.

While this exo-planet may not fit into our solar system theories, it obviously does just fine elsewhere. The basic theory isn't bad, it just doesn't apply to every instance. interstellar goop is all over the place, stuff happens where it is, not where we'd like it to be to fit a certain theory. We need a theory that covers planets like these.

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DJO
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Boffin

Re: an unlimited universe would have unlimited possibilities.

The problem is we only have one solar system to base our models on, now with massively improved telescopes covering pretty much the entire electromagnetic spectrum and coordination between teams working in different wavelengths we should be able to start viewing sufficient other solar systems in adequate detail to start formulating a more general theory.

The ideal would be to find a solar system still being built but the inconsiderate buggers tend to hide in dust clouds but observatories working in wavelengths that punch through the dust are being built so the future looks really promising for astronomy.

Actually this is a bit of a golden age for astronomy which would surprise the old guard who 20 years ago advised against the subject as they didn't think it had much promise for an interesting career.

We need a Patrick Moore icon.

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Boffin

Caught With Their Pants Down Again

It's back to the drawing boards since this solar system only 160 million years old it hasn't had time to brake dance like ours. Any way could there be a Jovian planet in our solar system beyond Neptune just asking.

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I think that, nowadays, our notion of orbital physics in our own solar system is pretty accurate. If there was a Jupiter-sized mass outside of the orbit of Neptune, it would most likely mess up the calculations for Neptune and Uranus, and even more for Pluto and Charon, and those anomalies would have been detected for what they are by the scientific community.

Therefor, I think that we can safely say that, if there is a planet of jovian-level mass outside the heliosphere of our system, it is so far away as to be nearly undetectable. That could mean that, if present, it might not even be orbiting our Sun.

But I don't think there is.

Don't forget that Jupiter is the king of all planets, none are bigger. Jupiter is 317 times the mass of our Earth, that is VERY massive. If there was another Jupiter lying around, we'd have detected it.

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Perhaps the initial building blocks of this other solar system were simply different enough to cause this? Maybe a lack of heavier elements?

What's the composition of the star? If the ratio of heavy to light elements is significantly different from our own star, then this could be a clue?

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Holmes

You had to explain the meaning of exoplanet?

Seriously???

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Re: You had to explain the meaning of exoplanet?

Yeah, there's no way we could work out what that word meant from its Greek roots.

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Re: You had to explain the meaning of exoplanet?

A planet with its core on the outside?

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Headmaster

Re: You had to explain the meaning of exoplanet?

"A planet with its core on the outside?"

Wouldn't that be an exo-core planet?

I assumed exo-planet refers to a planet being outside something, in this case our solar system.

"Exo" = outer.

"Planet" = well...planet.

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How unusual is this?

We don't know how rare this is yet. If it turns out to be relatively common, then we need to re-examine planet formation theories, but if it's unusual enough, then there are plenty of explanations for an unusual big distant planet.

Some suitable rare explanations:

* Capture of a "wandering planet" that was expelled from its original stellar system.

* Planet was disturbed from original orbit by a close encounter with another star

* Two stellar cores formed in the original star formation, and one (the future star) accreted much more material than the other, so instead of a binary system, we got a star and a Jovian.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How unusual is this?

By ignoring HHGTTG and Red Dwarf you missed out the obvious possibility :

* Planet was part of a clever trick shot in intergalactic bar billiards, missed both the black hole AND the white hole it was aimed at and was off the table and into someone's pint of beer. Scored no points.

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If large masses can't form distant from the center of a disc, how does this theory explain binary systems?

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