In The Field

AAS 2010: Another super-Earth! Are you yawning?

Astronomers have found the second smallest exoplanet, HD156668b, a so-called “super-Earth” that’s just four times the mass of the Earth. With an orbit of just 4.6 days (compare that to Mercury’s 88-day orbit), this planet would not be a nice place for life. Yet, that such a small planet can be duly reported at AAS amid shoulder shrugging by the scientists and press alike shows just how far the exoplanet field has come in a few years. 

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