Smallest Exoplanet Is Most Earth-like Yet | Wired Science from Wired.com
This is really interesting. It’s a planet that is twice the size of earth, and it orbits a star similar to our sun. The main similarity is that it is rocky instead of a gas giant like all the other planets found so far. However, the similarities end there. It orbits its star once every 20 hours (can you say dizzy?), and its orbit is so close that the surface temperature is estimated at 1,830 to 2,730 degrees Fahrenheit. It might be a little hot to hang out on, not to mention the “rocky” nature of the planet would most likely be an ocean of lava.
What is interesting is that another new scheme was used to discover the planet. COROT (Convection, Rotation and Planetary Transits), a European Space Agency spacecraft, hunts for planets by searching for changes in a star’s brightness caused by a planet passing in front of it. The other main scheme looks for a star’s wobble, but most rocky planets are so small that their sun’s don’t wobble much.