Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kepler-10b: Hot, Rocky, and the Smallest Exoplanet Yet

"How Scientists Know Alien Planet Kepler-10b is a Small, Rocky World"
Space.com Mike Wall (January 10, 2011)

"Astronomers announced the discovery today (Jan. 10) of the first "unquestionably rocky" alien world — a planet called Kepler-10b.

"Scientists have announced other rocky exoplanets in the past, but Kepler-10b earns its title, researchers said, because they're sure of its composition. And that's because they know its host star so well. In fact, the Kepler-10 star is one of the most well-characterized planet-hosting stars in the universe...."

The article does just what the title says: explains how scientists figured out what Kepler-10b is made of. The process involves asteroseismology, transits, and you'll have to read the Space.com article to find out more.

Normally, the Lemming has much more to say: but it's late, and the Lemming has a big day tomorrow.

Good night.

Related post:More in this blog:More about Kepler-10b:

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