>> Tuesday, June 17
European research discovered three "super-Earths" orbiting a star. They also discovered two other solar systems with similar planets too. Now how cool is that! According to my trusty friend Wikipedia a "super-Earth is the popular misnomer for a large extrasolar terrestrial planet. The standard criterion is that it has at least twice the mass of Earth, but less than ten Earth masses." There have been several discoveries of "super-Earths" to date. The first was on 1991 by Wolszczan and Frail with masses around 4 times the Earth.
Anyway, the recently discover planets orbit a star with a lesser mass compared to our Sun, 42 light-years away towards the southern Doradus and Pictor constellations. The planets orbit their star at extremely rapid speeds - one in just four days, compared with Earth's 365 days, one taking 10 days and the slowest taking 20 days. Imagine the speed, if there are living things in those planets what would they look like? So much for celebrating birthdays. :)
It's so exciting to hear about these discoveries. It goes to show that we are not alone in this universe. Who know in the near future we would be traveling around space, and maybe time.
(photo: An artist's impression of the trio of super-Earths discovered by a European team using the HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile, after five years of monitoring. *courtesy of yahoo.com)