spacetoday.net: space news from around the webin association with SpaceNews


Rocky exoplanet discovered
Posted: Tue, Jun 14, 2005, 8:27 AM ET (1227 GMT)
Gliese 876 rocky exoplanet illus. (NSF) Astronomers announced Monday that they have found the smallest extrasolar planet yet orbiting a Sun-like star, a planet small enough it is most likely a larger version of the Earth. The planet orbits the star Gliese 876 at a distance of less than four million kilometers, completing one orbit in just under two days. Scientists estimate that the planet weights as little as 5.9 Earth masses, making it smaller than any other exoplanet found to date around a Sunlike star. That mass is low enough that astronomers believe that the planet must be a rocky, terrestrial world like the Earth and the other inner planets in our solar system, since it is not massive enough to maintain the thick atmosphere of a gas giant. Astronomers credit improvements to a spectrograph at the Keck Observatory for providing the key confirmation of the planet's existence; they believe that such instruments will allow astronomers to detect Earth-sized planets in the next several years.
<<previous article   next article>>
news in brief
Union accepts contract to end ULA strike
Posted: Sun, May 20 1:41 PM ET (1741 GMT)

Contamination found in SLS core stage tubing
Posted: Sun, May 20 1:40 PM ET (1740 GMT)

Appropriators pass NASA spending bill that funds WFIRST
Posted: Sun, May 20 1:39 PM ET (1739 GMT)

news links
Wednesday, May 23
NASA, Iridium carpooled on Tuesday’s SpaceX mission
Los Angeles Business Journal — 6:01 am ET (1001 GMT)


about spacetoday.net   ·   info@spacetoday.net   ·   mailing list