A planet with about the same mass as Earth
has been discovered in orbit around Alpha Centauri B, a star in the Alpha Centauri triple star system - the solar system's closest neighbor, a mere 4.3 light years away. Alpha Centauri B is very similar to the Sun, and this marks the first planet with a mass similar to Earth ever found around a Sun-like star. However, the planet is orbiting at a distance of about six million kilometers, much closer than Mercury is to the Sun in the Solar System, so temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius may make vacationing there unpalatable even for the most dedicated beach-goer. However, lead paper author Xavier Dumusque called it "a major step towards the detection of a twin Earth in the immediate vicinity of the Sun."
posted by kyrademon
on Oct 16, 2012 -
Scientists have discovered a planet composed of scorching hot ice
. Originally thought to be a gas giant due to its mass, its actually only four times the size of Earth and most likely composed of exotic forms of ice, such as Ice VII and Ice X
with s surface temperature of 300° C.
posted by Artw
on May 16, 2007 -
A new planet has been found.
The new planet, named 2003 UB313
is the farthest known object in the solar system, larger than pluto and a lousy tourist destination. Slacker Astronomy has an interview
with co-discoverer Dr. Chad Trujillo.
posted by mosch
on Jul 30, 2005 -
A Doomed planet
orbiting a distant star has been located. No, not Krypton
. The planet is going to be consumed by the star soon
, but astronomers are not going to wait up for it.
posted by kaemaril
on Jan 28, 2003 -
Reflections on a Mote of Dust
"We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam."
Carl Sagan "Pale Blue Dot"
posted by crasspastor
on Sep 11, 2001 -