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Old 09-18-2004, 11:38 PM   #1
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Smallest 'Earth-like' planet seen

Smallest 'Earth-like' planet seen

By Pallab Ghosh
BBC science correspondent in Stockholm, Sweden

Scientists are on the lookout for Earth-like planets
European scientists have discovered what they describe as the smallest Earth-like planet orbiting a star outside our Solar System.
The planet is 14 times the size of Earth - not so large that it qualifies as a gas giant - and is close enough to the star that it is unlikely to be icy.

Dr Nuno Santos, of the University of Lisbon, said the new planet could be thought of as "super-Earth-like".

He was speaking at the EuroScience Open Forum in Stockholm, Sweden.

Dr Santos claimed the discovery set a new record for the smallest planet discovered around a solar type star, "further extending European Leadership in the field".

The discovery was made using the highly sensitive Harps spectrograph on the European Southern Observatory's 3.6m telescope at La Silla.

The planet was found to be orbiting the star mu Arae in the southern constellation of Altar. It is the second planet discovered round the star and completes a full revolution in 9.5 days.

Mu Arae was already known to harbour a Jupiter-sized planet with a 650-day orbital period. Previous observations hinted that the giant planet may have a smaller companion much further away.

According to Francois Bouchy, of the Marseille Astrophysics Laboratory, "not only did the Harps measurements confirm what we previously believed to know about this star, but they also showed that an additional planet on a short orbit was present".

This makes mu Arae a very exciting new planetary system.
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Old 09-18-2004, 11:53 PM   #2
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Does this mean there could be life on that planet?

Coolz0rz.
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Old 09-19-2004, 12:04 AM   #3
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One thing they have to take into account is while those planets may look earth-like it could be for very different reasons to why earth looks like the way it does.

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Old 09-19-2004, 02:23 AM   #4
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What's so special about it. There's life on Mars to isn't there?




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Old 09-19-2004, 02:58 AM   #5
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Well before that planet the 2 most earth like planets were Europa and Mars i think.


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Old 09-19-2004, 06:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alegis
Well before that planet the 2 most earth like planets were Europa and Mars i think.
Europe is a planet?

















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Old 09-19-2004, 06:32 AM   #7
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It's one of Jupiter's moons. Discovered somewhere in the 17th century, 1610 i think by Marius & Galilei and *inset more information you don't care about*


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Old 09-19-2004, 07:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alegis
Well before that planet the 2 most earth like planets were Europa and Mars i think.
Europa is a sattalite to be precise, and I think those tho are still the most earth like planets around. There are masses of earth like planets, but they are just to small to see from earth.

Europa is an ice planet, and scientists hope there will be water under the ice, where live can exist. They've planned a drill mission.




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Old 09-19-2004, 07:36 AM   #9
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Old 09-19-2004, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mountainforest
What's so special about it. There's life on Mars to isn't there?
Only spiders.


[edit] 666 posts!


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Old 09-19-2004, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Herminator
Only spiders.


[edit] 666 posts!
ah, now I remember




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Old 09-19-2004, 10:06 AM   #12
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Are there really spiders on mars?
That means that in 7056 years there are humans on mars


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Old 09-19-2004, 10:56 AM   #13
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Originally posted by DogGy
Are there really spiders on mars?
That means that in 7056 years there are humans on mars
It will only be 20 years or so if Bush gets what he wants




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Old 09-19-2004, 04:09 PM   #14
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as soon as i turn 16, im buying a car and driving to mu Arae (or however you spell it)


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