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Alien Super-Earth Goes Supercritical?


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spiritech0   posted:1/26/2012 10:24:51 AM  (Reply)
I'm asking this because I'm not a scientist of any sort... How in the F does anyone with a telescope on Earth know the composition of anything past Mars? Carbon-dating is questionable at best...
TaraStreet   posted:1/26/2012 12:13:27 PM  (Reply)

In Reply To:
spiritech0  posted:1/26/2012 10:24:51 AM  (Reply)
I'm asking this because I'm not a scientist of any sort... How in the F does anyone with a telescope on Earth know the composition of anything past Mars? Carbon-dating is questionable at best...
Exactly, but you know I am no scientist so perhaps my silly mind can just not comprehend such feats.
sorgfelt   posted:1/31/2012 5:01:52 AM  (Reply)

In Reply To:
spiritech0  posted:1/26/2012 10:24:51 AM  (Reply)
I'm asking this because I'm not a scientist of any sort... How in the F does anyone with a telescope on Earth know the composition of anything past Mars? Carbon-dating is questionable at best...
Each element absorbs and gives off light in very specific frequencies. By directing the light we see in telescopes of that little spec of a planet through a spectroscope, which is essentially a prism that spreads the light out on a surface like a rainbow, scientists can see sharp lines that they know from experiment are associated with certain elements.
spiritech0   posted:1/31/2012 12:08:30 PM  (Reply)

In Reply To:
sorgfelt  posted:1/31/2012 5:01:52 AM  (Reply)
Each element absorbs and gives off light in very specific frequencies. By directing the light we see in telescopes of that little spec of a planet through a spectroscope, which is essentially a prism that spreads the light out on a surface like a rainbow, scientists can see sharp lines that they know from experiment are associated with certain elements.
Thank you for keeping it simple for us, SorgFelt. Plus 1 internets for you.


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