NASA confirms Doctor Who-type world, Gallifrey

The article posted on Digital Journal is almost one year old (August 2012), but it’s the first time I’ve read it – by accident. And the story is interesting: NASA has confirmed the existence of a real-universe analogue of Gallifrey, the Time Lord home planet.

Coincidence? 😀 Maybe not!

According to an article in the Register, NASA came across what it calls a “transiting circumbinary multi-planet system” – in layman’s speak, “two worlds orbiting two suns” – using its Kepler planet-hunting telescope. The new system, which has been named Kepler 47, has two stars circling each other every 7.5 days. One of them is similar in size to our sun, whereas the other is approximately one third its size.

The inner planet – Kepler-47b – is three times the size of our world, making it the smallest known transiting circumbinary planet, and it orbits the stars every 49 days. The second – Kepler-47c – lies in the habitable zone around the two suns.

Digital Journal‘s Andrew Moran first reported on the discovery in January 2012, but the full study report has now been accepted by and published in Science.

The Register goes on to state that Kepler-47c is “slightly larger than Uranus and circles its stars every 303 days, making it the longest transiting planet currently known. The whole system lies about 5,000 light years away in the Cygnus constellation”.

The full report of NASA’s twin-system discovery is published in Science.



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