Observations Indicate First Terrestrial Exoplanets Detected

Discussion in 'Astronomy' started by Porfiry, Jan 9, 2001.

  1. Porfiry Nomad Registered Senior Member

    <!--intro-->The Sunday Times here in the UK ran a story last Sunday that claimed that the first Earth-sized, or terrestrial, planets orbiting another star had <a HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/01/07/stifgnnws01001.html">been detected</a>. The two planets orbit the double star CM Draconis, which has been suspected of harbouring a gas-giant planet for some time.<!--/intro-->

    As a bonus, the system seems to be organised rather like our own, with the terrestrial planets- neither of which have diameters greater than 10,500 miles (for comparison, Earth's is about 8,000 miles)- in the stars' habitable zone and the gas-giant far enough out not to perturb their orbits and to protect them from cometary or asteroidal impact.

    Professor Jill Tarter, director of the Seti Institute, said this work was powerful evidence for the existence of planets similar to Earth: "It is a delightful result. The environment on these planets would be very different to ours. Maybe life would love it or maybe not, but at least we know it is worth looking.".

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