Source: BBC

 

 

Amazing:

To spot the tiny, probably rocky planet, they first needed to precisely measure the size of its host star. They did so using “astroseismology” – effectively, turning tiny variations in the star’s light into sounds.

A report in Nature describes the blistering, probably rocky planet, which orbits its star in just 13 days.

It is joined in this far-flung solar system by two other planets, one three-quarters Earth’s size and one twice as large as Earth – all circling their star too closely to harbour liquid water or life.

Category: Science, Weekend

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2 Responses to “Astroseismology Finds Smallest Planet Outside Solar System”

  1. constantnormal says:

    … Probably not a planet at all, maybe an extra Imperial Death Star, hiding near a star to make it harder to detect, or a close-in solar power station, basking in the star’s radiant energy …

  2. constantnormal says:

    Actually, the solar power station is not as good an alternative explanation as the Death Star, as there would almost certainly be a number of other powersats sharing the same orbit, equally distributed along it, and an orbital period of only 13 days is just too close for any technology we can imagine to survive … but then, if there were — let’s say six — powersats sharing the orbit, they would need an orbital period six times as large (78 days), which would put them a lot further out, around the orbit of Mercury if this were a Sol-sized star. And how would the detection technique employed be able to distinguish between a single baked cinder and a series of further-out large dishes?

    So maybe a solar powersat facility remains a possibility …