Feeds

Sat scope discovers Earthlike 'sauna world'

Steamy nude alien babes thought relatively unlikely

The next step in data security

Astronomers using the CoRoT worldfinder satellite say they have discovered the smallest extra-solar planet yet known. The newly-checked-out world is less than twice the size of Earth, may have a solid surface, orbits a sun-like star and appears to have plenty of water. Sadly, local temperatures appear to be more than 1,000°C.

The planet, designated CoRoT-Exo-7b, orbits the star CoRot-Exo-7 more than 450 light years away in the constellation Monoceros. However, it does so in just 20 hours, being much closer to its parent star than Earth - hence the very high temperatures.

According to the European Space Agency, operator of the CoRoT satellite:

Although the density of the planet has not yet been well determined, preliminary indications are that it may be rocky and covered in liquid lava. An alternative proposal is that it may be a "sauna planet" of half water (in a superheated state) and half rock.

To date more than 330 exoplanets have been detected. Most of these are giant, gaseous planets. The discovery of CoRoT-Exo-7b is significant because recent measurements have indicated the existence of small-mass planets but their size has remained undetermined until now.

The CoRoT (COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits) satellite project is led by the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency. Its two missions are the search for close-orbiting, smaller planets like CoRoT-Exo-7b and "astroseismology" measurements of stellar oscillations. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.