2 Earth Mass Planet

(This was going to be posted a couple of hours ago but my server had issues and I couldn't post it).

The European Southern Observatory have announced the discovery of a 2 Earth mass planet orbiting star Gliese 581. Exoplanet aficionados will recognise the star name because it already has three planet candidates - Gliese 581 b, Gliese 581 c and Gliese 581 d - orbiting around it. Now, after analysing over four years of data from the 3.6 metre telescope at La Silla, a fourth planet has been found: Gliese 581 e. This new planet has a mass of about 1.9 times the mass of the Earth while b, c, and d have masses 16, 5, and 7 times the mass of the Earth. The observations also show that previously discovered Gliese 581 d sits in the habitable zone of the parent star.

Check out the latest ESOcast for more information.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 21st Apr 2009 (12:47 GMT) | Permalink
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