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Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Smallest Exoplanet Found

An artist's impression of Kepler-37b.
(Picture from: http://www.newscientist.com/)
Scientists have found the smallest planet outside our solar system (exoplanets) in the universe. The planet called Kepler-37b, which is no bigger than the moon, became the first known planets orbiting stars smaller than the sun.

Kepler-37b is one of three new planets were found around Kepler-37, a star that is slightly cooler than the sun and is located near Cygnus constellation. Two other planets, some smaller than Earth and the other two times the size of Earth. The third planet is expected to made ​​of stone and very hot, so it does not support life. "The system is very diverse exoplanets. Someone big and small now found," said Thomas Barclay, a researcher at the NASA Ames research center in Moffett Field, California, February 21, 2013.

The three smallest planets outside our solar system were discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope. The telescope utilizes seismic waves on the star. Wobble Light sought when the planet passes in front of its star as seen from Earth. The bigger the wobble light, the greater the size of the planet.

NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
(Picture from: http://www.universetoday.com/)
Kepler-37b beating Kepler-42d, the outer planets of the solar system formerly known as the smallest exoplanets. Kepler-42d was discovered last year and about half the size of Earth.

However, Kepler-37b record as the smallest planet may not last long. There are still at least two chances to break the record of the smallest exoplanet, The first a gas exoplanets were found last week and the estimated size of the moon. Second, an exoplanet orbiting a dead star (pulsar) and is predicted to have a mass of only 2 percent of the Earth. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | NEWSCIENTIST  | MAHARDIKA SATRIA HADI | KORAN TEMPO 4150]
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