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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Exosolar planet is present in habitable zone.

Using the ESO 3.6-m telescope, a team of Swiss, French and Portuguese scientists discovered a super-Earth about 5 times the mass of the Earth that orbits a red dwarf, already known to harbour a Neptune-mass planet.

It is reported that its radius should be only 1.5 times the Earth's radius, and models predict that the planet should be either rocky - like our Earth - or fully covered with oceans.

HARPS found it

HARPS(High Accuracy Radial Velocity for Planetary Searcher)is one of the most successful instruments for detecting exoplanets and holds already several recent records, including the discovery of another 'Trio of Neptunes'. It can measure velocity upto the precision of 1m/sec. Out of the 13 known planets with a mass below 20 Earth masses, 11 were discovered with HARPS!

Although 211 planets have been discovered to date beyond our solar system, this planet is the first that is assumed to be residing in a habitable zone - the region around a star where the temperature is right for water to be present in liquid form.

The planet's extremely elliptical orbit brings it within about 3.1 million miles (4.9 million kilometers) of its parent star on the inside, and swings out to a distance of about 9.6 million miles (15.4 million kilometers).

Video Of Mr. Michel Mayor
Research reported on Paper
Episode on Astronomy Cast

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This is science !

When you are speaking to technically illiterate people you must resort to the plausible falsehood instead of the difficult truth.

Photos of Comet Mcnaught !
Astro-photographer? Send your photos to pics@exploreuniverse.com and have them featured on this blog with your name. Comet Mcnaught : Pictures taken with Nikon D100 on 19/1/07 from Manning Point, northern NSW, Australia by Mr. Peter Enright.
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