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Weird planet October 13, 2008

Posted by jcconwell in Astronomy, planets.
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COROT is a mission led by the French Space Agency, with contributions from ESA, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Brazil. Launched in December 2006, It carries a 27-cm aperture (10.5 inch) telescope designed to detect tiny changes in brightness from nearby stars. The mission’s main objectives are to search for exoplanets and to study stellar interiors. COROT has discovered a massive planet-sized object orbiting its parent star closely, unlike anything ever spotted before. It is so weird, that scientists are unsure as to whether this object is a planet or a failed star.

Called COROT-exo-3b, it is the size of Jupiter, but has over 20 times Jupiter’s mass. This would make a planet that has twice the density of lead

Credit OAMP

Credit OAMP

COROT-exo-3b was discovered by a drop in the brightness of the star each time the object (COROT-exo-3b) passed in front of the parent star. For more information go to the European Space Agency