Results tagged “super-earth”

Long before Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars formed, it seems that the inner solar system may have harbored a number of super-Earths--planets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune.

A Japanese research team of astronomers and planetary scientists has used Subaru Telescope's two optical cameras, Suprime-Cam and the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS), with a blue transmission filter to observe planetary transits of super-Earth GJ 1214 b (Gilese 1214 b) (Figure 1).

Hovering about 70 light-years from Earth -- that's "next door" by astronomical standards -- is a star astronomers call HD 97658, which is almost bright enough to see with the naked eye. But the real "star" is the planet HD 97658b, not much more than twice the Earth's diameter and a little less than eight times its mass. HD 97658b is a super-Earth, a class of planet for which there is no example in our home solar system.

Sunny Super-Earth?

A research team led by Akihiko Fukui of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Norio Narita and Kenji Kuroda (the University of Tokyo) observed the atmosphere of super-Earth "GJ3470b" in Cancer for the first time in the world using two telescopes at OAO (Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, NAOJ). This super-Earth is an exoplanet, having only about 14 times the mass of our home planet, and it is the second lightest one among already-surveyed exoplanets. The observational data revealed that this planet is highly likely to NOT be covered by thick clouds.

CHEOPS Will Study Super-Earths

Studying planets around other stars will be the focus of the new Small-class Science Programme mission, Cheops, ESA announced today. Its launch is expected in 2017.

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