Smallest Exo-Planet So Far Discovered

Wired Magazine reports:

The smallest exoplanet ever seen is less than twice the size of Earth, and orbits a star similar to our sun 390 light years away. Astronomers recently spotted this world, the most Earth-like planet yet discovered, with the COROT satellite.

“For the first time, we have unambiguously detected a planet that is ‘rocky’ in the same sense as our own Earth,” said Malcolm Fridlund, ESA COROT project scientist.

For all its similarity to our own globe, though, it is still a far cry away from a habitable Earth-twin. For one thing, it is so hot — between 1,830 and 2,730 degrees Fahrenheit — that scientists think it might be covered in lava. It orbits extremely close to its sun and whips around the star once every 20 hours.

Nonetheless, the discovery takes us one step closer to finding another world that could host life. The newly found planet, dubbed COROT-Exo-7b, is distinct from most of the roughly 330 exoplanets so far discovered, which are by and large gas giants like Jupiter. This planet, however, is a terrestrial world like Earth, and seems to have a density similar to that of our own planet.

Send to Kindle

About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Smallest Exo-Planet So Far Discovered

  1. Eric says:

    Cool (actually, hot, I guess). One step at a time. We’re probably still a few years away from a Google exo-planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *