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Friday, May 04, 2007


COROT finds its first exoplanet

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and G. Bacon

COROT, the European space telescope dedicated to observing transiting exoplanets, has found its first planet. The planet, COROT-Exo-1b, is in orbit around a star roughly 1500 light years from us. It is 1.78 times Jupiters mass, and screams around its Sun in 1.5 days. This makes it one of the "Hot Jupiters".

By itself this is not so exciting, we have lots of hot Jupiters. The good news is that the scope may be as much as 10 times more accurate than expected. This means that rocky terrestrial planets orbiting red dwarfs are well within its reach. The question now is, will they turn COROT onto Gliese 581?

Hat tip to Dynamics of Cats and Emily Lakdawalla, see also New Scientist.

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What is CoRoT-exo-1b's RA and Dec? I know it's in Monoceros but where?
It is not far from delta Monocerotis, at roughly RA ≈ 07h 00m 00s
Dec ≈ 00° 00′ 00″. We will need to wait for more accurate figure from the COROT team.
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