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the smallest ever found up to now

Smaller ones have been found around a pulsar, but that one is often forgotten by the optical exo-planet hunters.

Regaring habitability, two further issues beyond temperature:

  • Since this planet orbits beyond a Neptune-sized planet (which could get that close only by spiralling inward from much further out), it must have been exposed to sizeable perturbations, which makes it likely that its orbit is not very circular. Changing radiation input on a 13-day orbit, I wonder what atmospheric features this could drive.

  • A small red dwarf is not only less luminous overall, but its spectra differs, too. At 3250K-> peak luminosity around 900nm, at the wavelengths preferred by our plants it falls off to about a third.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 06:12:48 AM EST
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In other words - very warm, very windy, and very flat.

Not quite a home from home yet. Although finding something so earth-like so close given the limits of technology does suggest there will be more Earth-like objects/planets (ELOs? ELPs?) in the immediate area.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 06:59:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words - very warm, very windy, and very flat.

No, no, no :-) 0-40°C --- not necessarily very warm, I don't get the flat reference, and what I meant isn't necessarily being very windy: there could be brutal wind direction/precipitation changes, maybe even global phase shifts in every orbit, or alternatively (depending on rotation period, axis tilt) there could be stark regional differences, which in turn can drive planet-wide circulation systems. The more interesting if there is water and there is coupling between the atmosphere and oceans, like on Earth but possibly on a grander scale.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 07:14:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Five times the mass? That's not going to be easy to run around on, even if with a wider diameter. (1.7g?)

0-40°C is an estimate, but I'd guess with water vapour and energy input shading into infra red wavelengths there would be more chance of the latter.

there could be brutal wind direction/precipitation changes, maybe even global phase shifts in every orbit, or alternatively (depending on rotation period, axis tilt) there could be stark regional differences, which in turn can drive planet-wide circulation systems.

Yep - windy. :)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 07:41:27 AM EST
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