Wednesday, February 9, 2011


OF PLANETS OUTSIDE OUR SOLAR SYSTEM - NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered a remarkable planetary system which has six planets around a Sun-like star, including five small planets in tightly packed orbits. Astronomers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and their coauthors analyzed the orbital dynamics of the system, determined the sizes and masses of the planets, and figured out their likely compositions - all based on Kepler’s measurements of the changing brightness of the host star (called Kepler-11) as the planets passed in front of it. “Not only is this an amazing planetary system, it also validates a powerful new method to measure the masses of planets,” said Daniel Fabrycky, a Hubble postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Cruz, who led the orbital dynamics analysis. As is the case in our solar system, all of the Kepler-11 planets orbit in more or less the same plane.

This finding reinforces the idea that planets form in flattened disks of gas and dust spinning around a star, and the disk pattern is conserved after the planets have formed, Fabrycky said. “The coplanar orbits in our solar system inspired this theory in the first place, and now we have another good example. But that and the Sun-like star are the only parts of Kepler-11 that are like the solar system,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of planets, and that bodes well. We’re seeing a lot of diversity,” said Kepler co-investigator Jack Lissauer, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

The space agency NASA announced last week that one of his missions in space discovered a planetary system like our solar system, whose existence was hitherto unimaginable. Kepler mission also found that there are many more relatively small planets, and more stars with more than one planet circling them, all hopeful signs in the search for life. According to the Vedic conception, material energy becomes filled with innumerable spherical regions of mahat-tattva and false ego, so the properties of matter are intimately tied together with the processes of sense perception occurring in conscious living entities.

Modern Western cosmologists have generally regarded the universe as having the same basic nature in all locations. One uniform geometrical framework is used to describe all space. Matter is regarded as existing in space, and it is assumed that the physical laws of our earthly laboratory experience govern the interactions between material elements in all parts of the universe. ... In Vedic cosmology the material world is not assumed to be of the same nature in all places, and space is not postulated as an absolute background within which all phenomena take place. Rather, material space, or ether, is generated at a certain phase in the process of creation, and this takes place only in certain bounded domains, called brahmandas. ... Each of these regions constitutes a particular universe, or brahmanda, and contains concentric spherical regions in which the successive material elements are manifest. Within the center of each of these systems of concentric globes there is a hollow region containing the inhabited planetary systems of that universe.

Dr. Richard L. Thompson (Śrīpad Sadaputa Dasa)
“Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy”
Chapter 6 “The Universal Globe and Beyond”

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