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'Super Earth' Discovered at Nearby Star

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posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:40 AM
European astronomers have discovered one of the smallest planets known outside our solar system, a world about 14 times the mass of our own. It could be a rocky planet with a thin atmosphere, a sort of "super Earth," the researchers said today.

But this is no typical Earth. It completes its tight orbit in less than 10 days, compared to the 365 required for our year. Its daytime face would be scorched.

It is not possible to know exact surface conditions of the planet, said Portuguese researcher Nuno Santos, who led the discovery. "However, we can expect it to be quite hot, given the proximity to the star."

Hot as in around 1,160 degrees Fahrenheit (900 Kelvin), Santos told

Still, the discovery is a significant advance in technology: No planet so small has ever been detected around a normal star. And the finding reveals a solar system slightly similar to our own in ways not seen until now.


great discovery hope this means more will be found and that we can look at them with more precision ect and then we will find life

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:44 AM
Just give them a few weeks. They'll be able to tell the composition of the atmosphere when the planet transitions (if it transitions). They have done that before with larger Jupiter-like planets. The light bent around the planet during the transition can be used and analyzed to determine chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Great discovery! Maybe we should start looking in places we've been avoiding, like Vega, Tau Ceti, Zeta Reticuli, Sigma Draconis and such. Even older stars and atypical life supporters could surprise us, as Bernard's Star did way back when.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:45 AM
Very cool. Thanks for the information, and I hope that more will come out about this. Hopefully, we can find a planet similar to our own one day.

Thanks again!


posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:55 AM
Why call it a 'Super Earth? It's nothing like earth.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:58 AM
I think the term was meant to imply a rocky world with an actual atmosphere, not a copy of our little blue speck of nothingness.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 12:05 PM
ok, im not going to pretend to be an astronomer here, but i have some basic questions.

1) have we ever found a planet that is pretty much the same as earth?. if so details or links would be great. how far from us.

2) when we go to mars and jupiter and stuff, how long does it take or rovers and stuff to get there?

3)with there being millions of planets do you think more are habital or un-inhabitible.

4) do you think we will ever get to travel and explore space as humans? is it realistic? i dont mean mars, but real deep exploration. i dont think we will. i think its just to massive and unnecessary.

just wondering..

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 12:14 PM

I'm not an expert in astronomy, but I think I can answer 1 or 2 of your questions.

1) A planet pretty much the same as earth? No, if we had you can be damn sure we would be trying to get there, rather than places like the moon and Mars.

2) Dunno how long it takes. I'm sure you can find the answer on

3) Many many many more un-inhabitible planets. Look at our own solar system. We are very fragile beigns and require a very specific climate in order to live. Looking at our own solar system, only one planet is naturally inhabitable...I don't like those odds.

4) Umm...we already are. We've been to the moon and now we're gearing up to travel to Mars. Exploration of space will continue and our capability to do so will continue to expand. Unnecessary? Do you have any idea how many discoveries/inventions have been generated through the space is very, very necessary.


posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 12:23 PM
There is life sustaining planets in Draconis.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 12:45 PM
Lol, this planet reminds me of the planet Crematoria in "The Cronicles of Riddick"

It too was a planet that had earthlike temperatures in the "night to day" transit, freezing cold temperatures on the night side and 700 temperature on its dayside.

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 04:29 PM

Originally posted by robertfenix
There is life sustaining planets in Draconis.

links? how do you know?

posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 06:19 PM
Great discovery indeed. I love it, I recently read a doom and gloom report indicating that solar systems like ours were few and far between, then we get this discovery.

We have so much to learn about the known universe that its silly to me to jump to conclusions. Can't wait to hear more about this story...


posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 09:51 PM
This is from Memory in my physics classes in college, but to answer the question of how long it takes to get to Mars, its about 6 months. I do remember we were given this problem and had to figure out with current technology how long it would take to get to our closet star (not the sun). At a short 4.3 light years, we would have to accelerate at 10g's for 12 days constantly, using the same amount of hydrogen fuel that would be in 100,000 hydrogen bombs. After all that, it would take 112 years. Some of those numbers are a little off, but they are all very close. The point of the exercise was that with current technology it isnt very realistic. I will look through my old college binders, Im sure I still have it somewhere.

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