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About half the stars are binaries, but this says that 20% of the extrasolar planets found so far have binaries. That's less than for the general population of stars, but then again, before this we thought that binary stars couldn't have planets. We've got some re-thinking to do.
If the universe is a ball the size of America, then the solar system is almost as large as the smallest cell in the human body.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 25, 2006 14:49:42 GMT -6
ASTRONOMERS FIND SMALLEST EXTRASOLAR PLANET YET AROUND NORMAL STAR
Using an armada of telescopes, an international team of astronomers has found the smallest planet ever detected around a normal star outside our solar system. The extrasolar planet is five times as massive as Earth and orbits a red dwarf, a relatively cool star, every 10 years. This artist's illustration shows an icy/rocky planet orbiting a dim star.
The distance between the planet, designated OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, and its host is about three times greater than that between the Earth and the Sun. The planet's large orbit and its dim parent star make its likely surface temperature a frigid minus 364 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 220 degrees Celsius).