Thursday, May 22, 2008

Exoplanet Totals Nearing 300

The Universe Today examines one of the newest members of astronomic exoplanet discovery community, the COROT (Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits) spacetelescope, which has discovered two new 'hot Jupiter' type planets, and another very interesting anomolous object believed to be an extremely small brown dwarf, only 20 Jupiter masses. If it is a star, it would be the smallest ever detected. There are also some indications it may have a small planet, perhaps just 1.7 Earth masses.

"COROT launched in December 2006, with operations beginning in February of 2007. So far the mission has found four exoplanets. The mission started observations of its sixth star field at the beginning of May this year. During this observation phase, which will last 5 months, the spacecraft will simultaneously observe 12,000 stars."

The current confirmed number of exoplanets today is 287.

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