Monday, February 06, 2006

Brrrr! Cold New Planet

It looks like astronomers found what looks to be a new planet just outside our solar system. Most of the planets discovered after earth are huge and this new planet is actually smaller than earth. And so far, it is the most distant planet (outside our solar system) yet found. Crazy!
Of course, it looks to be too cold to sustain life. Researchers are saying that it reaches no more than -365 degrees. That's probably because it orbits its star about 2.6 times the distance from the earth to the sun. (Distance between earth and sun is = 93 million miles)
This planet was found using a new "micro-lensing" technique that uses brighness of nearby stars to tell if the planet is causing the light to dim or brighten when it passes in front of our view. Expect to see more planet discoveries using this new technique. Oh! I can't wait!
The new planet's name? It's OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb. "OGLE" is the group of astronomers who monitor the stars for the evidence of "microlensing".


The Yepiz Zone said...

Wow, that name is so long--I already forgot it. That's cool though. how do they determine if it's a planet or a moon?

pableezy said...

OGLE huh? Is that derived from the latin for geek?

trazomfreak said...

Aless - Yeah, I know, the name is long but somehow astronomers feel that it can be easily catagorized that way. Weird!

Pableeeeezy - You might wanna ask the astronomers that one. It might actually be an acronym.

trazomfreak said...

Oh yeah, moons revolve around planets...planets revolve around their suns (or thier star).

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