Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Discovery of small, rocky, extrasolar world suggests such planets may be common





Using a relatively new planet-hunting technique that can spot worlds one-tenth the mass of our own, researchers have discovered a potentially rocky, icy body that may be the smallest planet yet found orbiting a star outside our solar system.

The discovery suggests the technique, gravitational microlensing, may be an exceptional technology for finding distant planets with traits that could support life.


Science fiction fans, rejoice!

5 comments:

JEFM said...

20 bucks they find an Earth II (sort of speak) before 2025!

Takers?

Jon

magnidude said...

Extrasolar planets become a Polish speciality. First dr Konacki finding the first planet in a triple-star system and now professors Udalski & Paczynki and their gravitational microlensing method...not to mention Alex Wolszczan who had discovered the very best extrasolar planet orbiting a pulsar back in 90'ties.

Don't blame me...we Poles got so few reasons to be proud of so I had to boast of these :)

JEFM said...

God bless thy Poles!

(pun intended)

Jon

W.M. Bear said...

Love the acronym too:

OGLE (Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment)

Who makes these up?

magnidude said...

Why, Poles!

i also heard it actually means sth ("a delicate fondly touch" AFAIR) in some language...