Possible terrestrial extrasolar planet found

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Phobos
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http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/08/26/new.planet/index.html

...astronomers have found one of the smallest planets known outside our solar system, a world about 14 times the mass of our own around a star much like the sun.

...It could be a rocky planet with a thin atmosphere, a sort of "super Earth"...

But this is no typical Earth. It completes its tight orbit in less than 10 days...Its daytime face would be scorched.
The system has two other outer gas planets, which makes it more similar to our own solar system than anything else found so far.
 

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what is currently considered the mass limit of terrestrial planets? 14X seems higher than I thought was possible for rocky worlds-
 
  • #3
Phobos
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setAI said:
what is currently considered the mass limit of terrestrial planets? 14X seems higher than I thought was possible for rocky worlds-
The article discusses it. It does seem to be right at the limit.
 
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turbo
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SMALL telescope made the discovery

Interestingly enough, my morning paper carried an article by AP Science Writer J. B. Verrignia who claims that the discovery was made with a SMALL telescope. This link confirms that the instrument was a 4" aperture telescope and that the planet was discovered via photometry.

http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/previous/latest.html [Broken]

I guess I should buy some photometric gear and an auto-guider and turn my 6" APO into a planet-discovering machine!
 
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Nereid
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turbo-1 said:
Interestingly enough, my morning paper carried an article by AP Science Writer J. B. Verrignia who claims that the discovery was made with a SMALL telescope. This link confirms that the instrument was a 4" aperture telescope and that the planet was discovered via photometry.

http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/previous/latest.html [Broken]

I guess I should buy some photometric gear and an auto-guider and turn my 6" APO into a planet-discovering machine!
The small telescope is the easiest part of the system. You also need a large, sensitive CCD; fortunately these are available for amateurs (e.g. Apogee Instruments), a good autoguider (again well within reach of amateurs, e.g. SBIG), lots of computer power (top of the line PCs will do), and image analysis software (uh oh!). The most expensive part is the CCD (>~$10,000?); the most difficult is the image analysis software.
 
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Phobos
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turbo-1 said:
Interestingly enough, my morning paper carried an article by AP Science Writer J. B. Verrignia who claims that the discovery was made with a SMALL telescope. This link confirms that the instrument was a 4" aperture telescope and that the planet was discovered via photometry.
Reread that article you linked to (it's a little confusing the way they presented it). The recent discovery of an extrasolar planet using a 4" scope was of a Jupiter-sized planet. I started a separate topic on that.

https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=40662

The discovery of this terrestrial planet was done with a big telescope.

The discovery was made with a European Southern Observatory telescope at La Silla, Chile, working at the verge of what's possible to detect.
The VLT consists of four 8.2-meter and several 1.8-meter telescopes (linked).
 
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Chronos
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Further corroboration of what is becoming increasingly apparent. Stars with planetary systems not unlike the solar system are quite common. the Kepler Mission [planned launch: 2007] and the Space Interferometry Mission [proposed launch: 2009] should result in a large number of addition to the current catalog. See link for details.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/future_missions.cfm [Broken]
 
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  • #8
turbo
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Phobos said:
Reread that article you linked to (it's a little confusing the way they presented it). The recent discovery of an extrasolar planet using a 4" scope was of a Jupiter-sized planet. I started a separate topic on that.
Duh! The the article in the newspaper was an agglomeration, announcing the discovery of both planets - Jupiter sized and "very-large-but-rocky". The paper used a headline implying that the discoveries were done with very small telescopes, and predicted a new wave of small-telescope planet-hunters would arise, never mentioning that a very large scope had been used to locate the rocky one. I typed in the link right out of the newspaper article and didn't take the time to read it through. :redface: Never take a newspaper science writer at face value.

Thanks for the clarification Phobos! Now my dream of discovering a terrestrial planet is shattered. I will have to wait until I can buy a 60" R-C scope and a decent observatory to house it in (even a Powerball win wouldn't cover that). Maybe if I figure and polish the mirrors by hand, maybe I can cut costs! Of course, I'll be at least 200 years old before I'm done. :tongue2:
 
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wow thats a small planet
 
  • #11
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Gold Barz said:
wow thats a small planet
:confused: It's much bigger than the Earth.
 
  • #12
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what the hell? i must have misread something
 

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