London - A pair of amateur British stargazers have discovered a new planet – for only the third time in history.
Chris Holmes and Lee Threapleton spotted the new world during a project to find planets beyond our solar system publicised by Professor Brian Cox in his Stargazing Live series.
The pair will receive the honour of having the planet named after them, once scientists have confirmed its authenticity.
They made the discovery after spotting changes in light patterns in an image from Nasa’s Kepler space telescope. The unusual patterns suggested a planet appears to be orbiting a sun called SPH10066540, which lies between 600 and 3,000 light years away.
“Threapleton Holmes B”, as the planet will be known, is thought to be gaseous, and around the size of Neptune.
The image had been posted online at Planethunters.org, an Oxford University project that asks the public to sift through time-lapsed data from Nasa in the hope of new discoveries.
Mr Holmes, of Peterborough, said: “I’ve never even had a telescope. I’ve had a passing interest in where things are in the sky, but never had any more knowledge about it than that.
“Being the one to find something is a very exciting position.”
But the other amateur stargazer, Mr Threapleton, may not even know he is set to have a planet named after him, as the project’s team have not yet been able to reach him.
Dr Chris Lintott, from Oxford University, said: “The candidate planet is unlikely to have life because it is too hot. It is too close to its star and the sheer heat makes life unlikely.”
It is believed to be only the third time British amateurs have found a new planet. The first was William Herschel, who discovered Uranus in 1781. - Daily Mail
I see this article has developed into an argument over a yet to be identified planet in our own solar system. Mmmm. Methinks one should get not get stuck in the mud here but pursue submissions that reflect conjecture and excitement in terms of the content of the article. I believe it is easy to get sidetracked especially if the posting becomes mean but let’s make reading the opinions of others more pleasurable. Oh yes. I also think that this undiscovered planet is in the realm of a Velikovsky. Oh dear,5nw22 what did I say?
MemeMan you obviously are a scientist? please excuse all the ignorant and arrogant star gazers out there.
If humans do not get another planet or strategy to live on. We are doomed like the dinosaurs on this earth. It's inevitable and proven. Everything dies in the universe. Bacteria, plants, animals, humans, planets, the suns stars, even the universe itself... What scientists would like to do is to prolong our specie from extinction too early. Because currently we seem to be the most clever and explorative aliens our here there, in the universe. So guys don’t take it personal. Humans know well how to drive other species to extinction that includes ourselves. Just read your own crap below… Looking at other planetary systems gives is vitally important. CONCENTRATE!
@Guees who, it wouldn't kill you to catch a bit of sarcasm either ;-)
so what if it does not have life no one realy cares
Anonymous at 3.34pm: I have sympathy for your anxiety and belief that there is a big conspiracy to hide something; but that is simply a private delusion with no bearing on reality: Let's put Niburu to bed once and for all. Let's get into the facts and leave willy nilly 'personal beliefs' and exciting fantasies out of it: Astronomers reject the idea of Nibiru, pointing out that such an object so close to Earth would be easily visible to the naked eye, as Jupiter and Saturn are both visible to the naked eye, and are dimmer than Nibiru would be at their distances.
Anonymous at 3.34pm: I have sympathy for your anxiety and belief that there is a big conspiracy to hide something; but that is simply a private delusion with no bearing on reality: Let's put Niburu to bed once and for all. Let's get into the facts and leave willy nilly 'personal beliefs' and exciting fantasies out of it: Astronomers reject the idea of Nibiru, pointing out that such an object so close to Earth would be easily visible to the naked eye, as Jupiter and Saturn are both visible to the naked eye, and are dimmer than Nibiru would be at their distances. A planet such as Nibiru would create noticeable effects in the orbits of the outer planets.
Big G, wrote
Oh Boy. This has really brought out the Looney Toons.
Guees who, wrote
@jft I wont die beacause of your nonsense calculations
I found a new planet called Meme and believe me it is realy dry and shiny. It does not make sense except to someone who believe they have higher intelligence but it was undiscovered for so long till I used Google Earth and IOL to find it. Awesome is it not. Did not even have to use my telescope since "normal" people are NOT ALLOWED to actually view the results of radio telescopes..ever been to SALT? Well if you listen carefully you can hear alien noises from Planet Meme
Guess who, wrote
@Yoda This is rocket science to me: If it out the solar system then how did the notice the planet how do they know that it is hot on that planet then we share my joint. Lets stop assumtions and tell us the what is reaall happening
@Meme-Man. Ok. I'll believe what I want to and you do the same. I won't try to force my ideas onto you. Which is more I can say for NASA, Governments etc.. I am willing to eat humble pie, but just tell me what are they so desperately trying to hide then? Maybe something on a 3600 year orbit that will cause havoc when it comes to close to us? This is the location, where you should see a picture of Planet-X (mostly also called 'Nibiru') as it is constantly approaching the center of our solar system. But the only thing you see is blacked out area in the google star maps... http:yowusa.complanetx2006planetx-2006-04a1.shtml http:www.youtube.comwatch?v=bRgN_XZFiq4 http:www.earthrainbownetwork.comArchives2008WritingWall55.htm http:projectcamelot.orgnorway.html http:www.planetxvideo.com
FOCUS!FOCUS!FOCUS!Jesus is coming soon.The Q is are you ready? Stop focusing on new planet and start preparing for JC.
Panet Niburu@2:18pm - I notice you use the past tense "spent" 10 years at the RCNS... hmmm; how does your new padded cell compare? Seriously though - did I 'boast' about elementary physics, etc? I thought merely observed them; I have no claim on them to make a boast, sir. Given that you say the physics relevant to planetary motion are 'rubbish'; I trust you have an upcoming Nobel prize awaiting your more accurate findings. Please - don't let my stupidity dissuade you any more - we're all very excited to hear all we can from you.
@Meme-man will you marry me? :P Sometimes it amazes be how obnoxiously stupid some people can be. And in the the unlikely event that I am wrong, may i be the first to perish in the chaos that Niburu will bring!
PLANET NIBIRU, wrote
Response to Yoda's statement:Simply because you smoke the prohibited substances, do not think that everybody smokes like you or is perhaps at your level.Here the topic is planet NIBIRU, and you are telling about PLUTO. This shows us that there is something wrong upstairs.Even NASA admits the fact that planet NIBIRU exists, okay.They spotted the planet in 1982 and sent a space probe in 1983 to study it in detail.Since an empty vessel makes the greatest noise, Yoda please shut up, rather than exposing how little you know about the subject.People should not be caught off guard, as was the case with the GREAT FLOOD[Noah].Meme-Man is a stupid who thinks he knows.He boasts about elementary physics, Newtonian Laws, escape velocities,detection of exo and ordinary planets and all other utter rubish.For your information only I AM A APPLIEDNUCLEAR RADIATION PHYSICIST,FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS.I spent more than 10 years in the Research Centre for Nuclear Sciences. That is since 1999. I am not boasting good people, I just telling this 'arme'Meme-man who am I.
Anonymous @ 1.20pm... you use the word "dumb enough to believe" - well, sir (or ma'am), I do hope you are prepared to wear that label when your own gullibility is revealed. How will it be revealed? Well - we could wait a century or two and when no Niburu shows up; it's I'll go warm up the humble pie for you. But I'd rather not wait that long; I'd rather you did a bit of confirming for me.... This Niburu... according to the gullible, it is in orbit around the sun, right; it is on a long solar orbit? And it'll be here pretty soon? Like - this year or next? And it is a 'planet' of some size? So it must be pretty far away, you will agree, or we'd see it tracking across the sky with the naked eye (or good binoculars) - right? Alternatively, you must rather claim that it is still too far away to see (you have to pick one option - close, visible and slow; or far, invisible and fast)... in which case, to be here soon it must be going like the clappers. Put another way - it must be going so fast that it cannot possibly be in periodic solar orbit - it will be traveling at super-orbital speed; alternatively known as "solar escape velocity". You see, sir, you are caught in the trap of your own naivety - forget conspiracy and simply apply elementary physics to the problem and the entire hoax you have swallowed is easily revealed.