Washington, August 22: NASA’s Kepler space telescope has linked the patterns of stars’ flicker to the amount of boiling taking place there, an important indicator of its size, mass and evolutionary state.
This data will spit out much detail about any orbiting planets, which includes those fortuitously positioned from their parent stars for liquid surface water.
Fabienne Bastien, an astronomy graduate student at Vanderbilt University, told Discovery News that the planets are not observed directly.
She said that the stars and the influence that the planets have on them are observed in order to make conclusions about the planet’s size or the mass, which directly has an impact on whether or not it can be claimed that an Earth-like planet has been found.
Bastien had been looking at archived Kepler data for a totally different purpose when she and her co-workers came upon strange patterns that they had no clue about.
They found that the pattern provided them with a quick and relatively reliable way to calculate a star’s evolutionary state.
The study has been published in this week’s Nature. (ANI)