Six new planets

French telescope and international team find a treasure trove of distinct planets

An international team has discovered six new planets that are remarkable in their different characteristics. The planets are called, CoRoT-8b (a small ice planet), CoRoT-10b (with an elongated orbit), CoRot-11b (a quickly rotating planet), CoRoT-12b , 13b and 14b (a trio of giants) and CoRoT-15b (a brown dwarf). They’re named after CoRot, a space telescope operated by the French space agency CNES. The telescope sits outside of our solar system and “discovers” the planets when they pass in transit. CoRoT 14b is an especially rare find: it has a size similar to Jupiter, but is 7.5 times the mass. It’s only the second of its type that’s been discovered. “Each of these planets is interesting in its own right, but what is really fascinating is how diverse they are,” says Dr. Suzanne Aigrain from Oxford University’s Department of Physics. “Planets are intrinsically complex objects, and we have much to learn about them yet.”

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Six new planets

  1. " The telescope sits outside of our solar system and “discovers” the planets when they pass in transit."

    I think that's incorrect. It detects planets outside our solar system when they pass in front of the star they're orbiting, but it's a satellite in earth-orbit so I'm pretty sure it sits well within our solar system.

    • You would think Maclean's staff would have access to advanced technical tools such as "cut and paste"

      • You can't cut and paste without attribution, but I think they were trying to paraphrase this: "It discovers planets outside our solar system — exoplanets — when they 'transit', that is pass in front of their stars."

        The Need to Know writer is funny sometimes.

    • You're right, of course. There aren't any man-made objects that are truly "outside" the solar system, but Voyager 1 is getting pretty close.

      • Very soon Voyager 1 will be between a Roche and a heliopause place.

        • Sweet!

  2. I hope that some of the right-wingers are following this… this is a classic case where our local planet Pluto has its job revoked, with planethood then bestowed on a bunch of foreigners.

    • Yeah, well, Pluto wasn't performing up to standards. Somehow we managed to fire the slacker without a decade's worth of union grievances and labour tribunals.

      • As a Scorpio, ever since you fascists revoked Pluto's standing I've been withholding my space-taxes.

        • Yeah, well, as a Virgo I don't believe that nutty astrology stuff.

  3. This, "The telescope sits outside of our solar system…" is wrong. Voyager 1&2 and maybe the Pioneer probes are the only human made objects outside of the solar system.

    This line also doesn't make sense, "CoRoT 14b is an especially rare find: it has a size similar to Jupiter, but is 7.5 times the mass" similar in size would mean around one (1)-ish times the mass of Jupiter wouldn't you think? 7.5 times the mass is MUCH bigger.

    I would have thought that Maclean's which stakes its reputation on accuracy and insight to be a little more careful. If you're looking to replace you're current science writer/editor please let me know. I have a journalism degree and am looking for work.

    • I think I see now what you meant to say about CoRoT 14b. That is has the same diameter as Jupiter but is 7.5 times heavier, ie. is much denser than Jupiter. Is it possibly a rocky world?

  4. You are right, Richard that the new planet is more dense that jupiter but at that size, roughly the same diameter as Jupiter, it would almost surely be a gas giant just with a denser concentration of material. What that material is I don't know for sure but I do know that it would not be a rocky world.

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