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Scientists spot exoplanet with temperate climate

Posted on Thursday, March 18 2010 @ 19:22:01 CET by

Astronomers have discovered CoRoT-9b, the first observed exoplanet that is similar to those within our own Solar System. The planet is 1,500 light years from Earth, it's about the size of Jupiter and has an orbit similar to Mercury. Of the more than 400 discovered exoplanets, CoRoT-9b is the first one with "a temperate climate", scientists estimate the surface temperature of this planet is between about -20 and 160 degrees Celsius.
More than 400 exoplanets, or planets outside the Solar System, have been discovered so far but Dr Deeg, who works at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias in the Canary Islands, explained that the others have all been "exotic".

"They are either extremely hot, being very close to the central star on short orbits, or they are on eccentric orbits, taking them close to and far from the central star, giving them extreme temperatures."

CoRoT-9b has a temperate climate. "This is the first planet where it makes sense to apply the models developed for planets within our solar system," said Dr Deeg.
More info at BBC News



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