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Thursday, March 18, 2010

First "normal" extrasolar planet found

We were getting bored of hot super-jupiters and massive super-earths, right? Well, finally a normal planet has been found by ESA's
CoRoT satellite telescope in a star of the constellation Serpens Cauda (snake's tail).

The new exoplanet is a regular gas giant like Jupiter or Saturn and is in a temperate zone, reasonably distant from its parent star, which is similar to our Sun (a very normal star, by the way).

Source: Science Daily.

Update: The same story at BBC reports that the planet has an orbit "like Mercury", which is clearly too close to the parent star to be considered a "temperate zone". They still dare to speculate (just that) about the possibility that the planet might have water clouds.

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