Smallest planet discovery


An artist's conception of the tiny new planet Kepler-37b, which is slightly larger than Earth's moon and orbits its host star every 13 days. Photo: NASA

From Nature:

A sub-Mercury-sized exoplanet

20 February 2013

Since the discovery of the first exoplanets, it has been known that other planetary systems can look quite unlike our own. Until fairly recently, we have been able to probe only the upper range of the planet size distribution, and, since last year, to detect planets that are the size of Earth or somewhat smaller. Hitherto, no planets have been found that are smaller than those we see in the Solar System.

Here we report a planet significantly smaller than Mercury. This tiny planet is the innermost of three that orbit the Sun-like host star, which we have designated Kepler-37. Owing to its extremely small size, similar to that of the Moon, and highly irradiated surface, the planet, Kepler-37b, is probably rocky with no atmosphere or water, similar to Mercury.

See also here. And here.

NASA's artist's illustration compares the planets in the Kepler-37 system to the moon and planets in the solar system. Photo: NASA

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18 thoughts on “Smallest planet discovery

  1. According to the comment you left above my reply, it would take a couple of centuries to get there with the technology we have now and probably by the time we get there, we may already have something to get us there faster. Who knows? That planet may be the answer to our problems but without actually getting there and checking it, we don’t know. A bright mind of the future needs to invent something super uber fast to get us there in less than 215 years LOL

  2. Pingback: ‘Habitable’ planets discovery by Kepler spacecraft | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: New earth-like planet discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: New earth-like planet discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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