What Alien Solar Systems Are Like
N.A.S.A.'s Kepler Space Telescope detected 1,235 alien planet candidates in its first four months of operation. Alien solar systems with multiple planets appear to be common in our galaxy.
What's the Latest Development?
Of the 1,235 candidate planets N.A.S.A.'s Kepler space telescope has recently discovered, 408 reside in multiple-planet systems, suggesting that our own configuration of multiple worlds orbiting a single star isn't so special. "What may be special, however, is the orientation of our solar system's planets. Some of them are tilted significantly off the solar system's plane, while most of the Kepler systems are nearly as flat as a tabletop, researchers said. ... The 1,235 candidate planets detected so far still need to be confirmed by follow-up studies, though researchers estimate at least 80 percent of them will pan out."
What's the Big Idea?
The discovery of so many alien worlds is yet another big find in our increasing capacity to look beyond our Earth. Nearly one-third of the Kepler candidates are part of multiple-planet solar systems, which came as a surprise to researchers. "'We didn't anticipate that we would find so many multiple-transit systems,' said astronomer David Latham, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in a statement. 'We thought we might see two or three. Instead, we found more than 100. ... As Kepler continues to gather data, it will be able to spot planets with wider orbits, including some in the habitable zones of their stars."
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.
- The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
- Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
- The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.
When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.