Thursday, January 26, 2006

Earth-like planet found

A small rocky planet has been found orbiting a normal star outside our solar system. Astronomers said that this is the most earth-like planet ever found. Although rocky like the Earth, the planet is too cold to support life. From Space.com:
The planet is estimated to be about 5.5 times as massive as Earth and thought to be rocky. It orbits a red dwarf star about 28,000 light-years away. Red dwarfs are about one-fifth as massive as the Sun and up to 50 times fainter. But they are among the most common stars in the universe...

It was discovered using a technique called “gravitational microlensing,” whereby light from a distant star is bent and magnified by the gravitational field of a foreground star. The presence of a planet around the foreground star causes light from the distant star to become momentarily brighter.

2 comments:

primus said...

No life on that planet? Damnit! Aren't we getting lonelier everyday in this universe? Hehe.

Lord Kimbo said...

primus: you still have those giant alien jellyfish.

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