Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EXO WORLDS
A golden age of exoplanet discovery
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jun 20, 2011


The seminar was held hot on the heels of an announcement from CoRoT - a space telescope operated by the French space agency CNES which speaker Dr Suzanne Aigrain is involved with - about the discovery of ten new planets, including one orbiting a star possibly only a few hundred million years old, twin Neptune-sized planets, and a Saturn-like world.

An exciting meeting yesterday, Wednesday 15 June 2011, held at the Institute of Physics (IOP) in partnership with the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), saw leading experts explain how far the field of exoplanet detection has advanced since the first confirmed detection in the early '90s.

Now that more than 550 exoplanets have been detected, and with increasingly frequent detections being announced by global teams working with space- and ground-based telescopes, the speakers explained how we have entered a golden age of discovery.

Chaired by the President of IOP, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the speakers - Professor Hugh Jones from the University of Hertfordshire, Dr Suzanne Aigrain from the University of Oxford and Dr Giovanna Tinetti from University College London - took the audience through the history of exoplanet detection, and explained the techniques being used to maximise our understanding of planets beyond our solar system.

After Professor Jones' introduction to the field and Dr Aigrain's description of some of the methods used to map out and understand the full population of exoplanets in our galaxy, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell remarked, "how exciting it is to think that there are probably more exoplanets than there are stars in our night sky."

The field has progressed from early identification of gas giants, dubbed 'hot Jupiters', to slightly smaller but still uninhabitable 'Neptunes', and now 'super earths'; planets with a mass only five to ten times that of our Earth's.

As researchers move ever closer to finding Earth-mass planets in the 'Goldilocks Zone' - realms of space the correct distance from stars for orbiting planets to be at a temperature that allows the existence of water and, possibly, harbours life - Dr Tinetti described the progress being made in techniques used to analyse environments on planets thousands of light years from Earth.

Topics raised in the question and answer session which concluded the event included the parameters of inquiry used in the attempt to identify life-harbouring planets - from the strength of gravity to the stability of orbits - and, a bit closer to home, what efforts humankind makes to identify hazardous near-Earth objects, such as asteroids.

The seminar was held hot on the heels of an announcement from CoRoT - a space telescope operated by the French space agency CNES which speaker Dr Suzanne Aigrain is involved with - about the discovery of ten new planets, including one orbiting a star possibly only a few hundred million years old, twin Neptune-sized planets, and a Saturn-like world.

A report from the event is due out in the autumn.

An introductory guide to exoplanets

.


Related Links
Institute of Physics
Lands Beyond Beyond - extra solar planets - news and science
Life Beyond Earth






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EXO WORLDS
CoRoT's new detections highlight diversity of exoplanets
Paris, France (ESA) Jun 15, 2011
Ten new exoplanets have been discovered by the European satellite, CoRoT. Confirmed via meticulous, ground-based observations, these exoplanets exhibit a wide variety of masses, densities, orbital parameters and other properties, highlighting the broad diversity of planets around stars other than our Sun. The inventory includes seven hot Jupiters, a planet smaller than Saturn and a system of two ... read more


EXO WORLDS
CMU and Astrobotic Technology Complete Structural Assembly of Lunar Lander

Blood Red Moon Predicted

NASA Releases New Lunar Eclipse Video

The Power of A Moon Rock

EXO WORLDS
Phobos slips past Jupiter

Countering Contamination for Mars Spacesuits

Opportunity Breaks Backward Driving Record

Entry, descent and surface science for 2016 Mars mission

EXO WORLDS
Commercial Spaceflight Federation Supports Use of Space Act Agreements

NASA Reveals New Batch Of Space Program Artifacts

Iran to put a monkey into space: report

Despite budget stress, US space ties strong: NASA

EXO WORLDS
China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 goes to outer space

Building harmonious outer space to achieve inclusive development

China's Fengyun-3B satellite goes into official operation

Venezuela, China to launch satellite next year

EXO WORLDS
ESA chief hits at 'anarchy' over space station planning

ATV preparing for fiery destruction

European space freighter poised for suicide plunge

Keeping Cool With Heat Pipes on the Space Station

EXO WORLDS
Arianespace receives the next Ariane 5 for launch in 2011

SpaceX Secures Launch Contract In Major Asian Market

SES-3 Satellite Arrives At Baikonour Launch Base

Shipments Of Sea Launch Zenit-3Sl Hardware Resume On Schedule

EXO WORLDS
A golden age of exoplanet discovery

CoRoT's new detections highlight diversity of exoplanets

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Second Rocky World Makes Kepler-10 a Multi-Planet System

EXO WORLDS
Track24 Defence releases SCC Titan

Raytheon Triples Bandwidth on National Weather Services' Satellite Broadcast Network

European endorsement for space hazards program

Using living cells as an invisibility cloak




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement