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Category Archives: exoplanets

YouTube – ESOcast 20: Richest planetary system discovered.

More about HD 10180 and its companions: Wikipedia and ESO

(via Astronomy Picture of the Day)



ESOcast: Episode 11: 32 New Exoplanets Found

On 19 October 2009, at an international exoplanet conference, the team who built the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher, better known as HARPS, the spectrograph for ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope, reports on the incredible discovery of more than 30 new exoplanets, cementing HARPS’s position as the world’s foremost exoplanet hunter.

A planet 6 times the mass of Earth

via ESO

VB 10b orbiting VB 10 (artist's rendering) (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

via Universe Today

VB 10b orbiting VB 10 in the constellation Aquila

via Centauri Dreams


“OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb orbits around its star at an average distance of 2.0 to 4.1 AU, or an orbit that would fall between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter in our own solar system. The variation in distance is the range of error in measurement and calculation; it does not represent its orbital eccentricity, as the planet’s orbital elements are not known. Until this discovery, no small exoplanet had been found farther than 0.15 AUs from a main sequence star. The planet takes approximately 10 Earth years to orbit its star”


This is the image which inspired this blog. It is a beautiful view of one of the handful of known Earth-like exoplanets (super-Earths). Scientists expect this planet would maintain a thin atmosphere at best, so the depiction of a thick blue atmosphere is likely inaccurate. One can’t argue, however, with the attractiveness of the effect