ESO: First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 20396
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

ESO: First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

Post by bystander » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:31 pm

First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up
eso1011 - 2010 March 17
Combining observations from the CoRoT satellite and the ESO HARPS instrument, astronomers have discovered the first “normal” exoplanet that can be studied in great detail. Designated Corot-9b, the planet regularly passes in front of a star similar to the Sun located 1500 light-years away from Earth towards the constellation of Serpens (the Snake).
A transiting giant planet with a temperature between 250 K and 430 K
Of the over 400 known exoplanets, there are about 70 planets that transit their central star, a situation that permits the derivation of their basic parameters and facilitates investigations of their atmospheres. Some short-period planets, including the first terrestrial exoplanet (CoRoT-7b), have been discovered using a space mission designed to find smaller and more distant planets than can be seen from the ground. Here we report transit observations of CoRoT-9b, which orbits with a period of 95.274 days on a low eccentricity of 0.11 ± 0.04 around a solar-like star. Its periastron distance of 0.36 astronomical units is by far the largest of all transiting planets, yielding a ‘temperate’ photospheric temperature estimated to be between 250 and 430 K. Unlike previously known transiting planets, the present size of CoRoT-9b should not have been affected by tidal heat dissipation processes. Indeed, the planet is found to be well described by standard evolution models with an inferred interior composition consistent with that of Jupiter and Saturn.
CoRoT-9b, a temperate transiting giant planet
Extrasolar Planets Media Kit

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 20396
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

ESA: Newly discovered planet could hold water

Post by bystander » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:04 pm

Newly discovered planet could hold water
ESA Space Science - 2010 March 18
The Corot satellite strikes again with another fascinating planet discovery. This time, the newly discovered gas giant planet may have an interior that closely resembles those of Jupiter and Saturn in our own Solar System.

Very few planets are temperate enough to allow the presence of liquid water, but the newly discovered Corot-9b is one of them. It was found on 16 May 2008 and orbits its star every 95.274 days, a little longer than Mercury takes to go round the Sun.