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back to article Boffins spot Luna-sized exoplanet

Exoplanet hunters have made their smallest find ever, Kepler-37b, which is only fractionally larger than Earth's moon and rather smaller than Mercury. The planet and its star are about 210 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. In a Letter to Nature, over 50 co-authors explain how the Kepler spacecraft helped them to …

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Re: Dwarf Planet

As it orbits the primary it will be dwarf planet only if it has not cleared its orbital region of other objects.

As long as it is massive enough to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium size itself has no bearing on whether a body is classified as a planet or dwarf planet.

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Plenty of shade

Kepler 37b might be tidally locked to its star. If so, half the planet would be in shade.

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Staggering

An object the size of the Moon from 210 light years away.

This seems a pretty big improvement from nothing below a Jupiter sized world.

Thumbs up what is robably some very tricky signal processing.

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Boffin

Re: Staggering

One would assume the detection prospects are highly magnified due to their proximity to the parent star. Might be a lot more difficult to detect bodies the same size in the respective habitable / water=liquid zone.

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No need to pack a duffle coat then?

Maybe a knotted hankie?

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Re: No need to pack a duffle coat then?

A knotted hankie? Stop it!!!! My Brain hurts

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Mushroom

Spectacular view....

That small (low-gravity), and that close to it's sun?

I wonder if you'd get some outgassing - kind of like the biggest comet you've ever seen, outgassing (in imagination anyway) iron, silicates, etc, etc. Pity I'll never see some pics ...

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What about a?

So there's Kepler-37b,c and d

Are they expecting to find another one even closer?

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Re: What about a?

In extrasolar planet naming Kepler-37a is the host star, planets are then named in order of discovery.

If one closer to the star was found it would be called Kepler-37e

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Joke

Hot and Nasty...

... Does that mean Ryanair will be flying there soon?

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Re: Hot and Nasty...

"Does that mean Ryanair will be flying there soon?"

If they did, it would probably be to a spaceport in another nearby star system, which they'd call Kepler-37 on the booking page on the basis that it's within 50 light years of the named destination.

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Ru
Meh

"in the constellation Lyra"

That's a little... imprecise.

There are apparently 29 stars in the area of the sky that contains Lyra, some of which are substantially closer than 200ly so that's a pretty big volume of space.

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Joke

Re: "in the constellation Lyra"

That's just peanuts compared to, er, hang on...

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Anonymous Coward

I for one welcome

Our Pyroville overlords.

AC/DC in case the "Doctor Who" fans get this reference and hunt me down...

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Awwww

look at the widdle planet

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