Small, rocky extrasolar planet discovered

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In summary, Kepler has recently discovered the first confirmed small, rocky planet, which has been released in a preprint on arxiv. The planet is 1.5x the size of Earth, 4.5 Earth masses, and has a density of 8.8 gm/cc, similar to solid nickel. It orbits a sunlike star at 1/20 the distance of Mercury from our sun, with temperatures reaching 2500 degrees at noon. This discovery shows the potential for Kepler to detect earth-like planets, emphasizing the importance of telescopes in finding new planets and the possibility of many more out there.
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Chronos

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Kepler recently found the first confirmed small, rocky planet:
http://www.universetoday.com/82362/kepler-discovers-it’s-smallest-and-first-rocky-planet/
The arxiv preprint was released a few days ago:
http://arxiv.org/abs/1102.0605
The planet is remarkably small - only about 1.5x the size of Earth and about 4.5 Earth masses. It is also veryg dense - around 8.8 gm/cc, or about the equivalent of solid nickel. It is also quite toasty - roughly 2500 degrees at noon. This is not surprising given it orbits a sunlike star at 1/20 the distance of mercury from our sun. The exciting thing is it shows Kepler can potentially detect earth-like planets.
 
Astronomy news on Phys.org
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that is why a telescope is so important finding new planets how many more are out there
 

1. What is an extrasolar planet?

An extrasolar planet, also known as an exoplanet, is a planet that orbits a star other than our Sun. These planets are located outside of our solar system.

2. How was the small, rocky extrasolar planet discovered?

The small, rocky extrasolar planet was discovered using a technique called radial velocity method. This method involves measuring the small wobbles of a star caused by the gravitational pull of a planet orbiting around it.

3. How does the size and composition of this planet compare to Earth?

The small, rocky extrasolar planet is similar in size and composition to Earth. It is approximately 1.3 times the size of Earth and is believed to have a rocky surface, similar to our planet.

4. Is this planet habitable?

It is currently unknown if this small, rocky extrasolar planet is habitable. Factors such as the distance from its star, atmosphere, and presence of water will determine its potential for supporting life.

5. What implications does the discovery of this planet have?

The discovery of this small, rocky extrasolar planet adds to the growing evidence that there are many other planets similar to Earth in our galaxy. It also opens up possibilities for further research and exploration in the search for habitable planets and extraterrestrial life.

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