Rocky exoplanet confirmed/nerd Venn diagram

September 17, 2009

Image Via

Image Via

A European satellite observatory recently discovered a very small exoplanet that is said to be the first with a proven density similar to Earth’s. Follow-up observations were done at a telescope in Chile to determine the planet’s mass, which was then combined with its radius to calculate its density. The planet has about 5 times Earth’s mass. But don’t get too excited just yet- the planet is far from habitable. It orbits VERY close to its parent star (23 times closer than Mercury is to our Sun), which not only means it’s really effin’ hot, but it also is probably tidally locked, which means the same side of the planet is always facing the star. So one side is literally boiling with molten rock, and the other side is extremely cold. There’s no way it could have any atmosphere, either. BUT this is still an important step toward finding an Earth-twin. No we know that we can find planets similar in size and density to our own. It’s just a matter of time until Kepler or CoRoT finds one orbiting in its star’s habitable zone. (Via

Ever wondered about the difference between a nerd, a geek, a dweeb, and dork? Look no further. This pretty much nails it down perfectly. (Via Clusterflock)


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