Smallest planet outside solar system found
Last updated: Tuesday, February 3 , 2009

The European space probe Corot has hitherto smallest rocky planet found outside our solar system. The amazing object is less than twice as large as the Earth revolves in orbit around a star zonachtige. The temperature is at its surface is very high and may be coated by lava or water vapor. Corot-Exo-7b, as the newly discovered world is called, running over a period of only twenty hours to its parent star at a relatively small distance from its companion. The surface temperature could rise to around 1000 a 1500 degrees Celsius.

To date there are 330 exoplanets discovered, most of whom have much in common with the gas planets Jupiter and Neptune. There is still uncertainty about the density of the planet, but it is likely that as the earth has a surface of rock that is covered by liquid lava. It is also possible that the object belongs to a class of planets that approximately the same share of rock and water. The high temperatures were measured suggest that the boiling and humid world. A team of astronomers discovered the planet when seen from the Earth's surface over the surface of its parent star and the light went in part blocked.

"The discovery of such a small planet is not a complete surprise to," said Daniel Rouan, a researcher of an observatory in Paris that the study of the planet together with Alain Léger of the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in the capital of France lead. "Corot-Exo-7b belongs to a class of objects whose existence was predicted earlier. The space probe has been designed in the hope that this kind of objects would be discovered. "According to Malcolm Fridlund, engaged in the mission Corot, the discovery is important to gain insight on the formation and evolution of our own planet. "We have for the first time an object discovered that" rocky "in the same sense as the earth and that helps us to find other exoplanets that similarities with our world."


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