Tuesday, 21 April 2009

ohhh exoplanets!

The bbc are reporting that the lightest ever exoplanet has been discovered, weighing in at a mere 1.9 Earth masses it has pushed the 3.6m La Silla telescope in Chile to its limits.

While it sits outside the habitable orbits of its star Gliese 581 it is an interesting discovery. Scientifically it marks nothing much (this isn't the first exoplanet, just a record holder), but it does show just how many planets are out there (Gliese 581 has 4 others).

Of more interest is that this was done with a ground based telescope - it will be truly amazing to see how much is discovered once the Kepler satellite goes into orbit, being designed specifically to look for exoplanets should produce even better results.

If nothing else this means were building up a nice range of planets to send seed/holo ships to (maybe generation ships but they're not much of an idea).

No comments:

Post a Comment