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Latest Stéphane Udry Stories

Closest-Ever Exoplanet Discovered In The Alpha Centauri Star System
2012-10-17 14:08:24

Video 1 | Video 2 Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have discovered a planet similar in mass to the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system – the nearest to Earth. Surpisingly, according to the astronomers, this planet which is just 4 light years away is also the lightest ever discovered around a star like our Sun. While the planet itself may be more similar in size and mass than Venus is to Earth, that´s where the good news...

Image 1 - HARPS Finds Fifty New Exoplanets
2011-09-12 12:45:58

  Richest haul of planets so far includes 16 new super-Earths [ View Video ] Astronomers using ESO´s world-leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced a rich haul of more than 50 new exoplanets, including 16 super-Earths, one of which orbits at the edge of the habitable zone of its star. By studying the properties of all the HARPS planets found so far, the team has found that about 40% of stars similar to the Sun have at least one planet lighter than Saturn. The...

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2009-10-19 10:35:00

Recent discoveries by astronomers have brought the official number of planets outside of our solar system to over 400. The team that constructed the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) reported the discovery of 32 new planets outside our galaxy. HARPS is a spectrograph that is attached to the European Southern Observatory's telescope in La Silla, Chile. Using the spectrograph, scientists are not able to gather images of planets, but they are able to make observations based...

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2009-04-21 08:30:00

Astronomers claim to have discovered an exoplanet that is the most similar to Earth in terms of mass than any previously discovered. Found in the constellation Libra, the planet known as Gliese 581 represents about twice the mass of Earth. Astronomers have previously identified some 300 exoplanets, but most are much larger than Earth. "This is by far the smallest planet that's ever been detected," said Michael Mayor, from the Geneva Observatory, Switzerland. "This is just one more step in the...

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2008-03-04 00:00:00

Many scientists refuse to believe that humans are alone, given the 200 billion stars in our galaxy. Scientists like Seth Shostack not only believe that other intelligent life forms exist on other planets, but that their civilizations have advanced enough through evolution that they would be able to transmit radio messages. "To think 'hey, look man, this is the only place where there's anything interesting happening'; I mean you've gotta be really audacious to take that point of view,"...

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2006-05-18 12:00:00

HARPS Instrument Finds Unusual Planetary System Using the ultra-precise HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla (Chile), a team of European astronomers have discovered that a nearby star is host to three Neptune-mass planets. The innermost planet is most probably rocky, while the outermost is the first known Neptune-mass planet to reside in the habitable zone. This unique system is likely further enriched by an asteroid belt. "For the first time, we have discovered a...

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2005-11-30 18:01:06

A team of French and Swiss astronomers [1] have discovered one of the lightest exoplanets ever found using the HARPS instrument [2] on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla (Chile). The new planet orbits a star belonging to the class of red dwarfs. As these stars are very common, this discovery proves crucial in the census of other planetary systems. "Our finding possibly means that planets are rather frequent around the smallest stars," says Xavier Delfosse, from the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique...