January 18, 2009

From Mark McWilliams:

Re: Photo captures three planets by distant sun (Nov. 13): I live in the northern hemissphere and therefore would not be able to view the Alpha Centuri stars let alone with a telescope capable of detecting planets, but I have read that there are two stars similar in size to our own star.

Being that they are a great deal closer than the star mentioned and that the stars are close to the size of our own why have not these people who have access to this equipment or even the Hubble take a look at that system? Is there something obvious to astronomers that is not obvious to me as to why not to look at the closest neighbors? On a different note: I believe it was one of your articles that mentioned the presence of water around/on on of the extra-solar planets found. Since water is made from the first and eight elements I do not believe that water is rare. in fact one of my theorys on comets is that the sun makes water and it is expelled along the solar disk to be accumulated by comets at the outer reaches of our solar system and then like rain drops after the comet has gained so much mass they are disturbed from thier ‘orbits?’ and ‘fall’ toward the Sun.

Since I believe space exploration is far better use of our money than the war department I truly regret that SkyLab was abandoned and let to fall to Earth after just a couple of missions. It should have stayed in orbit for at least 12 years, the Chinese zodiac and the sun spot cycle, to really get a far better idea of our own star and what to expect from others. On that note has anyone tried to see how much oour own star wobbles to see if they can find jupiter which is 10% the diameter of the Sun or about 0. 1% the mass of the Sun.


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