Feb 25, 2013

NASA Announces The Discovery Of The Smallest Planet Ever Observed [News]

According to NASA, the Kepler space telescope has discovered the smallest exoplanet ever observed in...


According to NASA, the Kepler space telescope has discovered the smallest exoplanet ever observed in the constellation Lyra - which lies about 210 light-years from Earth. Dubbed as Kepler-37b, the little planet is slightly larger than the Moon, and you can check out a comparison of its size relative to other known planets in the illustration below.

NASA Announces The Discovery Of The Smallest Planet Ever Observed [News]

The line up compares artist's concepts of the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. Kepler-37c, the second planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the third planet, is twice the size of Earth.

According to the space agency's scientists, the planet is tiny and it’s discovery was a real challenge. It has one-third the size of Earth and is smaller than Mercury, and this is the first time that a planet smaller than those that exist in our solar system is found. In addition, although orbiting around a star resembling the Sun, the researchers believe that it is a planetary system very different from ours.

The researchers believe that Kepler-37b is a rocky planet and probably not habitable. As the little planet orbits very close to its star, it probably has no atmosphere or water, and high temperatures on its surface - estimated at over 400°C making it completely barren.

[Via]

No comments :

Post a Comment