So the planet hunter Corot has found its first extra-solar planet. It is a bit bigger than Jupiter, and orbiting awfully close to its sun-like star. Artist’s impression, from ESA, to the right. Click for larger.
From a BBC article by Rebecca Morelle:
The new body is called Corot-exo-1b and can be found 1,500 light-years away in the constellation of Monoceros.
Dr Suzanne Aigrain, a co-investigator on the mission and an exoplanet expert from the University of Exeter, UK, was pleased to have found a planet so soon after the launch.
She told BBC News: “It’s a giant planet of similar basic structure to Jupiter, but bigger; it is about 1.3 times more massive than Jupiter and has approximately 1.5 to 1.8 times the radius.
“It’s a lot closer to its star, which is quite similar to our Sun, and it orbits it every 1.5 days.”
The discovery of this large planet indicated that the onboard systems were working well and that discovering smaller, Earth-like planets was well within its grasp, she said.
Read more here.
(Update: Another very large extra-solar planet was announced today too. Navneeth (thanks!) , a commenter on this post, points to it, here.)
(See an earlier post of mine about Corot, written when it was launched.)
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