Space exploration lovers are thrilled by the news from NASA. On June 19, a team of astronomers processing data from the K2 mission announced a list of planets with potential for life.
At a press conference held at NASA’s Ames Research Center, the team said it identified 219 potential planets, 10 of which are composed of rocks and located in a habitable zone ( habitable zone), orbiting the stars is similar to our Sun – a type of yellow dwarf or G dwarf star.
In short, we have just found 10 Earth-like planets.
In science, “Earth-like” means planets with a similar chemical composition to our blue planet, revolving around a relatively young star and located in a habitable zone (where water has can exist on liquid surface).
So far, 4,043 exoplanets have been discovered by Kepler space observation glasses and 2,335 of them have been identified. 10 newly announced exoplanets will be among 49 Earth-like planets in the habitable zone discovered by Kepler, more than 30 of which have been confirmed.
Perhaps the most interesting part of these new news is the planet KY 7711, located near the star it orbits and travels into orbit very similar to the Earth around the Sun – meaning that it receives the same amount of heat, wears Although it is about 1.3 times bigger than our planet.
Often exoplanets fall into one of two categories:
“Super Earth” types are about half the diameter of Earth, the surface of rocks and usually have little or no atmosphere;
The “mini Neptune” type is about twice the diameter of the Earth, has a thick atmosphere but lacks a rocky surface.
The exoplanets fall between these two, often smaller and thus harder to confirm. But according to this new announcement, they are still out there.
A new era is beginning
The Kepler Space Telescope was launched eight years ago, in March 2009. Its sole task is to detect planets around the stars to filter out candidates that are similar to the Earth. Looking back, scientists do not think it is possible to identify nearly 50 exoplanets like Earth in such a short time.
Both the original Kepler mission and the K2 mission contributed greatly to the search for possible exoplanets. Although not part of the main mission, Kepler also provided the first images of the TRAPPIST-1 system, one of the most noteworthy systems discovered recently.
Now that the K2 mission is coming to an end after four years of operation, the scientists behind the Kepler glass think that we are nearing the end of the extraterrestrial detection era. But this is also the beginning of a new era: with missions like the Exoplanet Surveillance Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope, we will have more powerful tools than Kepler to observe and identify. More information on the composition and bioavailability of life on it.
“We will be able to determine how popular other Earth-like planets are. Are there places we can live in this galaxy, other than the house on Earth? ”Said Susan Thompson of the Kepler research group.
Why are some airplanes unable to operate if it is too hot?
Overheating can make some aircraft unable to leave the ground. The main cause is not the temperature or humidity, but the air density.
The hotter the air, the thinner it will be, making it difficult for aircraft to take off and land, mostly small-sized aircraft. For example, in the city of Phoenix, USA in the past week, many aircraft had to stay in one place when the temperature rose above 49 degrees Celsius.
The reason an aircraft can take off and remain in the air is due to the lift on the wing, due to the movement of air under the wing and its lift.
Therefore, when it is hot, the air expands and there are fewer air molecules to lift the wings. As the lift decreases, everything will consume more: more thrust is needed, longer runways are needed to take off, longer runways are needed to land, higher velocity is needed to land. Therefore, there is a limit that some aircraft cannot meet.
Higher temperatures also mean that the aircraft will rise more slowly, according to pilot Patrick Smith, author of the book “Cockpit Confidential”.
To make up for the lack of lift, the planes had to create stronger thrust and have larger wings. Small airplanes with low power will easily be “grounded”, for example, Bombardier’s CRJ lines have a temperature limit of 48 degrees Celsius at the height of the city of Phoenix.
At Dubai International Airport and other gulf airports that often experience the heat, most people have to transfer (but not all) flights at night or early in the morning to avoid heat problems. degree. The planes in this region also tend to fly longer and bigger, so they are not easily limited by the heat.
If an aircraft intentionally takes off when the temperature has exceeded the threshold, it may not lift itself off the runway and must cancel its takeoff. And if you try to land when the air is too thin and hot, the plane can run over the runway.
Therefore, before the flight, the pilot will compare with an information board about temperature, altitude and even humidity – the factors that help determine the air density.
Airlines can also take other measures when temperatures rise too high. They may sell fewer tickets to make the aircraft lighter, or reduce the amount of cargo. They can also fill only half the fuel tank and stop at another cooler airport to refill later.
Air density is the main problem, but there are other problems caused by heat on interior equipment, such as seats that can become too soft or melt when the temperature is high, Professor R John Hansman of MIT’s aerospace and aerospace department said.
According to pilot Smith, a series of problems can occur: electronic devices overheating, excessive braking temperature, the machines inside the aircraft are overloaded, in addition, temperatures on the runways, yards landing can exceed 40-50 degrees Celsius, “and things start to fail.”
Therefore, when safety cannot be guaranteed, flights will be canceled. At least in the airport lounge, we have air conditioning …