Tuesday, December 09, 2008

3 European Undergrads Discover Planet

via Livescience, the satory of 3 Dutch undergradate students that have discovered a planet, and a mightly unique one as it it the first to be discoverdd orbiting around a fast rotating star and is also the hottest star (at 12,000 degrees F) ever found to have a planet.

"It is exciting not just to find a planet, but to find one as unusual as this one; it turns out to be the first planet discovered around a fast-rotating star, and it's also the hottest star found with a planet," said one of the planet's discoverers, Meta de Hoon of Leiden University in The Netherlands. The other Leiden-student team members included Remco van der Burg and Francis Vuijsje."

The planet called OGLE2-TR-L9b, is around 5 Jupiter masses and orbits the star devery 2 1/2 days, and was found by the transit method (measuring the slightly detectable drop in light as the planet passes in front of its parent star). It is extremely close to its star, only .03 astronomical units. Their discovery was confirmed by the European Space Agency's VLT (Very Large Telescope) in Chile.

Very cool achievement for these young people.

No comments: