space news from around the webin association with SpaceNews

Small exoplanet discovered
Posted: Thu, Jan 26, 2006, 8:21 AM ET (1321 GMT)
Small icy exoplanet illustration (ESO) Astronomers have discovered a distant extrasolar planet with a mass only five times that of the Earth. In a paper published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, an international team of astronomers reported that they have found a planet orbiting the star OGLE-2005-BLG-390L, about 20,000 light-years from Earth near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The star created a "microlensing" event when it passed between the Earth and a more distant star; its gravity magnified the light of that distant star as seen from Earth. Astronomers found a "defect" in the characteristic smooth lightcurve of the microlensing event, which astronomers believe is caused by a planet orbiting the microlensing star. Based on that blip in the lightcurve, astronomers believe that the exoplanet weighs about five times the mass of the Earth, and orbits OGLE-2005-BLG-390L at a distance of about 3 AU. While some reports described the planet as "Earth-like", astronomers believe the planet is more likely an icy world, a giant version of Pluto. The exoplanet is the among the smallest discovered to date. The serendipitous discovery leads some researchers to conclude the small exoplanets may exist around many stars.
<<previous article   next article>>
news in brief
SpaceX launches Starlink satellites from Vandenberg
Posted: Sun, Dec 10 11:47 AM ET (1647 GMT)

Rocket Lab wins contract to launch South Korean satellite
Posted: Sun, Dec 10 11:44 AM ET (1644 GMT)

Stock tender offer would value SpaceX at $175 billion
Posted: Sun, Dec 10 11:43 AM ET (1643 GMT)

news links
Sunday, December 10
Stellar winds regulate growth of galaxies
CNRS — 2:45 pm ET (1945 GMT)

about   ·   ·   mailing list