Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Extra Solar Planet Discovered

From Aviation Week:
"NASA's Kepler Exoplanet hunting observatory's instruments are working so well that the have given astronomers their first image of the glow of a hot gasbag planet larger than Jupiter as it circles the backside of a star.
The star, HAT-P-7, and its companion planet, P-7B, are located about 1000 lightyears from earth. Their existence was known but the precision of Kepler's observatory has encouraged astronomers as the undertake a planned three-year mission to look for Earth like planets, exoplanets, in the Cygnus-Lyra region of the Milky Way."

Wow. Star Trek here we come. Detected a planet 1000 light years away. Science fiction. Article accompanied by a really convincing graph of the light curve, showing a big dip as the planet crosses in front of the star.

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