Wednesday, September 16, 2009

First Earth-like planet found!

Unfortunately it's a scorcher.  This molten ball of rock is hot on one side and cool on the other.  It is 23 times closer to its sun than mercury is to ours, and 5 times earth's mass.  But really what makes this sighting important is that it was an observation of an earth-like planet.  Up until recently observational techniques have only been able to capture Jupiter size gas giants.  Also, astronomers are due to find more earth-like planets soon with the Kepler telescope.

"It is so close to the star it orbits "that the place may well look like Dante's Inferno, with a probable temperature on its 'day face' above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit (2,000 degrees Celsius) and minus-328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 200 degrees Celsius) on its night face," said Didier Quelo..."

 CNN article

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