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Six New Planets Discovered

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posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 02:08 AM
An international team, including Oxford University scientists, has discovered six diverse new planets, from 'shrunken-Saturns' to 'bloated hot Jupiters', as well a rare brown dwarf with 60 times the mass of Jupiter.

The CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and Transits) space telescope is operated by the French space agency CNES. It discovers planets outside our solar system -- exoplanets -- when they 'transit', that is pass in front of their stars. Once CoRoT detects a transit, additional observations are made from the ground, using a number of telescopes all over the world.

Although astronomers cannot see the planets directly, they use the space- and ground-based data to measure the sizes, masses, and orbits of these new planets precisely. This is why, among all known exoplanets, those with transits yield the most complete information about planet formation and evolution.

The six new planets are:

CoRoT-8b: the smallest in this batch: At about 70% of the size and mass of Saturn, CoRoT-8b is moderately small among the previously known transiting exoplanets. Its internal structure should be similar to that of ice giants, like Uranus and Neptune, in the Solar System. It is the smallest planet discovered by the CoRoT team so far after CoRoT-7b, the first transiting Super-Earth.

CoRoT-10b: the eccentric giant: The orbit of CoRoT-10b is so elongated that the planet passes both very close to and very far away from its star. The amount of radiation it receives from the star varies tenfold in intensity, and scientists estimate that its surface temperature may increase from 250 to 600°C, all in the space of 13 Earth-days (the length of the year on CoRoT-10b).

CoRoT-11b: the planet whose star does the twist: CoRoT-11, the host star of CoRoT-11b, rotates around its axis in 40 hours. For comparison, the Sun's rotation period is 26 days. It is particularly difficult to confirm planets around rapidly rotating stars, so this detection is a significant achievement for the CoRoT team.

CoRoT-12b, 13b and 14b: a trio of giants: These three planets all orbit close to their host star but have very different properties. Although CoRoT-13b is smaller than Jupiter, it is twice as dense. This suggests the presence of a massive rocky core inside the planet. With a radius 50% large than Jupiter's (or 16 times larger than the Earth's), CoRoT-12b belongs to the family of `bloated hot Jupiters', whose anomalously large sizes are due to the intense stellar radiation they receive. On the other hand, CoRoT-14b, which is even closer to its parent star, has a size similar to Jupiter's. It is also massive, 7.5 times the mass of Jupiter, which may explain why it is less puffed up. Such very massive and very hot planets are rare, CoRoT-14b is only the second one discovered so far.

CoRoT-15b: the brown dwarf: CoRoT-15b's mass is about 60 times that of Jupiter. This makes it incredibly dense, about 40 times more so than Jupiter. For that reason, it is classified as a brown dwarf, intermediate in nature between planets and stars. Brown dwarfs are much rarer than planets, which makes this discovery all the more exciting.


posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 02:13 AM
Awesome find!
Isnt space wonderful. Just goes to show how much there still is to explore

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 02:40 AM
However, you know, the exquisitely tiny and nearly imperceptible movements of stars in exosystems are practically hidden from our eyes by an abundance of optical and radio noise. These researchers see a few tiny tics in a tiny image and assume gravitational influence of giant planets.

Nobody has actually gone out there and proven that exoplanets exist at all. They only exist on paper. Much as black holes and other far-flung cosmic anomalies only exist on paper.

My point is, you could pretty much hoax as many "exoplanets" as you want — the scientific community is already a minority, but the people who are making these extraordinary exo-discoveries are a really small handful of skywatchers.

All you need is consensus in Science, not facts.

So, if a handful of skywatchers agree that this stutter-step gravitational dance is indicative of exoplanets, who the fekk is going to argue?

— Doc Velocity

[edit on 6/22/2010 by Doc Velocity]

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 03:47 AM
reply to post by Doc Velocity

It's true that we can never absolutely prove that those points of light out there are actually stars, and that what we're measuring are actually planets, without actually sending probes there.

But the data can be easily obtained by any observatory in the world. There's thousands of observatories that all routinely back up each other's discoveries. There's dozens of people working at each observatory, and then a vast body of millions of qualified researchers who have access to that data.

Forming a conspiracy would be very difficult when you have a bunch of clever people all looking for the truth. It's not exactly the kind of job you seek if your motive is something as trite as deception.

[edit on 22-6-2010 by Son of Will]

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 03:49 AM

I've been looking for a new home

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 04:49 PM
Could that brown dwarf be wormwood?

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 05:14 PM
reply to post by Doc Velocity

When the "twitches" are observed over extended periods of time, and correlate with other observed gravitational disturbances, the science is a lot more definitive than you might think. Noise is random, these observations are not. They're cyclic and constant. Maybe you're right, and they're not planets. Perhaps they are other large, heavy objects, probably spherical in shape, likely composed of condensed gases or even solid, rocky debris that happen to orbit the star in question.

You most certainly are right about one thing: Nobody has actually gone there and seen what is orbiting this star. The methods employed however, offer a reasonable indication that something is in orbit, and a suitable application of common sense gives a reasonable indication that that something, is a planet. The light given off by a star oozes information that is not apparent by staring at a twinkling light in the sky. From the light, the distance, size, composition and mass can be derived. With that knowledge, and a regular, cyclic wobble, we can determine the same information about orbital bodies.

I'm just a little confused about the intent of your post, your point if you will. Are you saying there are no planets outside of our solar system?

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