Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Discovered Orbiting mu Arae

I expected to see a thread by **Tuckerfan ** on this but after a quick scan, I didn’t find anything.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20040825/sc_afp/space_astronomy_planets

It’s discoveries like this that make me thrilled to be living in this day and age.

Ok, first of all, from what I understand of extrasolar planet searching, it’s based on detecting the wobble of the star due to the planet that is circling it. This would be dependent on the mass of the planet. So I see no problem with saying that the planet is 14 times the mass of the Earth, but how would they know it’s terrestrial?

Unless there is a new way of detecting I’m not hip on.

Also this is rather confusing:
In one place they state:

and later in the article:

Anyone care to explain? Did I misread?

Considering that Mu Arae is substantially brighter than our Sun, this planet must be so close to Mu Arae that I’m surprised the terrestrial matter can remain solid.

It reminds me of that story from Sainte-Exupery’s The Little Prince, where a lamplighter was on a planet that did a complete rotation every minute. Every 30 seconds he had to say, “Bon nuit”, or “Bon matin” accordingly.

Except here it’s “Bon annee” every nine days.

Imagine having only eight shopping days till Christmas, at the beginning of the year.

Am I the only one who misread the thread title as “Extrasolar Terrestrial Planet Discovered Orbiting my Arse”?

Just a WAG, so take with a grain of salt, but I suspect a gas planet couldn’t exist with that mass. The gas planets in our own system are far, far bigger than that.

Still, I thought any solid object orbiting too closely to another object of tremendous mass, as a star would be, would be torn apart by tidal forces. I’ll be interested to learn how it is that’s not happening here.

Mystery Dog: No… no, you’re not.

My reaction: It orbits your what??? Is this a TMI thread, or what?

The article said it was the size of Uranus. However, I did think Uranus is a bit bigger than 14 times the Earth. So is that another problem with the article?

Honestly, was this written by Weekly World News?

Ok, found this through a google search.
It appears Uranus is 4 times the size of Earth
and 14 times the mass of Earth

While I have been told I have a huge ass, it’s not yet large enough to have its own gravity well.

And after having the errors in the article pointed out to me (about the orbital period… the Uranus thing looks to only be a mixup between size and mass), I don’t know how to take the news. I just saw it and since I’m a huge space geek, had to share it.

Guess I should have been less enthusiastic. :slight_smile:

Oh no, Aesiron! Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s really great news! Finding more extrasolar planets is a wonderful thing. And finding one only 14 times the size of Earth is phenomenal! It shows our techniques are becoming refined and soon we may actually be detecting Earth-sized planets (although I think they’d have to use another method for locating ones this size as such a small mass and increased distance from the parent star would cause such an infinitesimally small wobble in said star).

I was just nit-picking.

Please be excited!!

Oh no, Aesiron! Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s really great news! Finding more extrasolar planets is a wonderful thing. And finding one only 14 times the size of Earth is phenomenal! It shows our techniques are becoming refined and soon we may actually be detecting Earth-sized planets (although I think they’d have to use another method for locating ones this size as such a small mass and increased distance from the parent star would cause such an infinitesimally small wobble in said star).

I was just nit-picking on how the article is written. It really goes to show how badly journalists understand what they write about even if they are supposed to be specialized in that field. I wouldn’t doubt that the journalist just screwed up the facts given her/him by the scientist.

Please be excited!!

The article is talking about two different planets that have been discovered recently.

The first orbits around mu Arae in 9.5 days; the second is in the constellation Lyra and orbits in 3.03 days.