Closer to finding an Earth-like planet
Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:19 pm
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090916/ap_ ... cky_planet
Who else is starting to pack up bags?By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer – Wed Sep 16, 10:08 am ET
WASHINGTON – Astronomers have finally found a place outside our solar system where there's a firm place to stand — if only it weren't so broiling hot.
The planet is called Corot-7b. It was first discovered earlier this year. European scientists then watched it dozens of times to measure its density to prove that it is rocky like Earth. It's in our general neighborhood, circling a star in the winter sky about 500 light-years away. Each light-year is about 6 trillion miles.
In addition, the planet is about as close to Earth in size as any other planet found outside our solar system. Its radius is only one-and-a-half times bigger than Earth's and it has a mass about five times the Earth's.
Now that another rocky planet has been found so close to its own star, it gives scientists more confidence that they'll find more Earth-like planets farther away, where the conditions could be more favorable to life, Boss said.