Has Kepler Discovered a New Class of Celestial Object?

The strange objects orbiting the two stars could be mangled white dwarfs... but the jury is still out (NASA)

The first results from NASA’s Kepler exoplanet hunter are in and a perplexing early result has been announced. Yes, the space telescope is working fine, and no, it hasn’t spotted an alien homeworld (yet), but the Kepler team have uncovered something pretty cool.

Kepler may have discovered a new class of celestial object (possibly).

But before we start scratching our heads in confusion or popping the champagne corks in celebration, let’s try to work out what Kepler has observed.

Kepler is currently monitoring 100,000 stars in an effort to seek out extra-solar planets (or “exoplanets”) orbiting these stars. Although Kepler was only launched in March 2009 and early doubts about the observatory’s capabilities caused some low-level concern, Kepler appears to be functioning well and mission controllers are already reporting early results.

Five new exoplanet discoveries by Kepler were announced at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Washington D.C. on January 4th, and all seem to have very strange characteristics. Fortunately Discovery News blogger Ray Villard was on the scene at the AAS to hear what the Kepler team had to announce:

In sifting through the Kepler data taken so far, postdoctoral student Jason Rowe found a very curious light signature. When an object passed behind its central star, the light from the system dropped significantly. This means the object — called KOI 74b — must be glowing fiercely with its own light that was blocked out when the object was eclipsed.

Hold up, the light dimmed when the exoplanet passed behind its parent star? Something’s not right here. Kepler detects exoplanets when the worlds pass in front of their parent stars, thereby dimming the starlight, not vice versa!

Actually, this is exactly what’s happened. The “exoplanets” orbiting two otherwise ordinary stars appear to be brighter — and hotter — than their host stars. It’s as if the roles of the stars and the exoplanets have been reversed; the stars are dimming the exoplanetary light as the exoplanet passes behind the star.

Needless to say, there is currently no stellar model that predicts this kind of behavior from extra-solar planetary systems.

This means the object — called KOI 74b — must be glowing fiercely with its own light that was blocked out when the object was eclipsed […] It is seething at 70,000 degrees Fahrenheit while the parent star is 17,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The strange object can’t be a star because the transit data show that it is no bigger than Jupiter.Ray Villard, Discovery News.

One theory is that KOI 74b (and the other strange object, KOI 81b) could be a white dwarf star that migrated close to its stellar partner. Through binary interactions, the white dwarf was stripped of some of its mass, causing it to puff up and appear like a gas giant exoplanet. That would certainly go to some way of explaining why these two “exoplanets” are so hot.

Of course, the other option is that Kepler has made a groundbreaking discovery and identified a whole new class of celestial object… but I suspect there are other, more mundane reasons for these observations.

I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see until followup observations are made…

Source: Discovery News

7 thoughts on “Has Kepler Discovered a New Class of Celestial Object?”

  1. Re comments: unable to understand why all 'reactions' quote the above article. There are only 2 comments 5 months old, same as the age of the ' reactions.' comment 1 says temp too cool for fusion, comment 2 says only surface temp, inner hotter. Are we not aware the corona of the sun is enormously hotter than the interior? I have been at a European astronomy site which offers the info that Kepler may have discredited planetary formation theory. Something to think about & brings to mind the Milton-DeGrazie theory of soslar system formation. And the Milky Way has been disclosed to have 4 arms spiraling out, not two. Why no genuine info or interest?

  2. Re comments: unable to understand why all 'reactions' quote the above article. There are only 2 comments 5 months old, same as the age of the ' reactions.'comment 1 says temp too cool for fusion, comment 2 says only surface temp, inner hotter.Are we not aware the corona of the sun is enormously hotter than the interior? I have been at a European astronomy site which offers the info that Kepler may have discredited planetary formation theory. Something to think about & brings to mind the Milton-DeGrazie theory of solar system formation. And the Milky Way has been disclosed to have 4 arms spiraling out, not two. Why no genuine info or interest?

  3. Some conlusion: In sifting through the Kepler data taken so far, postdoctoral student Jason Rowe found a very curious light signature. When an object passed behind its central star, the light from the system dropped significantly. This means the object — called KOI 74b — must be glowing fiercely with its own light that was blocked out when the object was eclipsed.

    The light dimmed when the exoplanet passed behind its parent star? Something’s not right here. Kepler detects exoplanets when the worlds pass in front of their parent stars, thereby dimming the starlight, not vice versa!
    Actually, this is exactly what’s happened. The “exoplanets” orbiting two otherwise ordinary stars appear to be brighter — and hotter — than their host stars. It’s as if the roles of the stars and the exoplanets have been reversed; the stars are dimming the exoplanetary light as the exoplanet passes behind the star.
    New quantum mechanical theory of opposing ant attractive standing wave theory to be applied here.Application of Bernoulli spin pressure that may be reversed according to the spin profile generating an increase in pressure or decrease in pressure as the case may be which is reversed in between two star emissions calls for new theories .

  4.  

    Citation :Formulating  mass variable Algol star

    Lagrangian points are the
    stationary solutions of the circular restricted three-body problem. For
    example, given two massive bodies in circular orbits around their
    common center of mass, there are five positions in space
    where a third body, of comparatively negligible mass, could be placed
    so as to maintain its position relative to the two massive bodies. As seen in a
    rotating reference frame with the same
    period as the two co-orbiting bodies, the gravitational fields of two massive bodies
    combined with the satellite’s circular motion are in balance at the Lagrangian
    points, allowing the third body to be stationary with respect to the first two
    bodies

    Mass transfer by Cyclic
    quadrilateral stress strain formation that can be shifted along jacobian planes
    requires an information. By the sequence of cyclic quadrilateral breaking at
    the  frequency resonance as  indicated by cross graphics  by a .this 
    must be the shift  from spiraling
    reinforcement diagonalisation  weaken the
    hydrostatic mass flow strength. Astronomers discovered ancient
    Egyptian observations of a variable starThe paradox can be solved by mass
    transfer: when the more massive star became a subgiant, it filled its Roche lobe,
    and most of the mass was transferred to the other star, which is still in the
    main sequence. This system also exhibits variable activities in the forms of x-ray and radio wave
    flares. The former is thought to be caused by the magnetic fields of the A and
    B components interacting with the mass transfer.[18] The radio
    wave emissions might be created by magnetic cycles similar to those of sunspots, but
    simce the magnetic fields of these stars are up to ten times stronger than the
    field of the Sun,
    these radio flares are more powerful and more persistent. This confirms the
    theory that However the introduction of the
    third star – and the theory that the first two transfer matter between them –
    led scientists to believe their rotation would be slowing down over time.

    Whirling electron is trnsfering
    energy from the nucleus with a third point towards the periphery. Having the
    fast domains In some binaries similar to Algol, a gas flow can be
    seenAlgol is located about 92.8 light years
    from the Sun, but about 7.3 million years ago it passed within 9.8 light years
    of the Solar
    System[20]
    and its apparent magnitude was about -2.5, which is
    considerably brighter than the star Sirius is today.
    Because the total mass of the Algol system is about 5.8 solar masses, at the closest
    approach this might have given enough gravity to perturb
    the Oort
    cloud of the Solar System somewhat and hence increase the number of comets entering the
    inner solar system. However, the actual increase in net cometary collisions is
    thought to have been quite small. Lagrangian points are the stationary
    solutions of the circular restricted three-body problem. For
    example, given two massive bodies in circular orbits around their
    common center of mass, there are five positions in space
    where a third body, of comparatively negligible mass, could be placed
    so as to maintain its position relative to the two massive bodies. As seen in a
    rotating reference frame with the same
    period as the two co-orbiting bodies, the gravitational fields of two massive bodies
    combined with the satellite’s circular motion are in balance at the Lagrangian
    points, allowing the third body to be stationary with respect to the first two
    bodies

    Coclusion Lagrange  mass transfer dynamics  of 
    cyclic quadrilateral  as twin
    dynamical polygon  inside a polygon may
    be applicable in mass transfer dynamics  between spirality to  linearity not only in devil variables but
    also in hydrostatics dynamics between stream line to turbulent flow dynamics.
    as well as a new atomic theory in between nucleus and rotating electrons
    neutral point towards Rydberg electrons

     

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