Distant Planet Brings Astronomers Closer To Home
Artist’s Impression of the Newly Found Exoplanet
Using a network of telescopes scattered across the globe, including the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla (Chile), astronomers  discovered a new extrasolar planet significantly more Earth-like than any other planet found so far. The planet, which is only about 5 times as massive as the Earth, circles its parent star in about 10 years. It is the least massive exoplanet around an ordinary star detected so far and also the coolest . The planet most certainly has a rocky/icy surface. Its discovery marks a groundbreaking result in the search for planets that support life.
The new planet, designated by the unglamorous identifier of OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, orbits a red star five times less massive than the Sun and located at a distance of about 20,000 light years, not far from the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.
Henri Boffin | alfa
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