Quick on the heels of my earlier note on planet detectors, Universe Today is reporting the smallest exoplanet yet has been discovered. Measuring in at a mere five Earth masses, GJ 436T wss found by a team of Spanish astronomers in the constellation Leo. The planet is far too close to its parent star to harbor liquid water, however, orbiting the star every 5 days.
""I think we are very close, just a few years away, from detecting a planet like Earth," team leader Ignasi Ribas said at a news conference on Wednesday April 9, 2008. The newest planet, "GJ 436T" was discovered by a team led by Ribas through its gravitational pull on other planets already discovered around the same star in the constellation of Leo.
It is only a matter of time before we find the 'Holy Grail' - a small rocky world with liquid water in the habitable zone of another star. We live in very interesting times.