- Aug 2, 2004
Sounds like it's too close to its sun to support Earth-like life, but you never know. It's amazing that we're able to detect objects this small that are 15 light years away.(SPACE.com) -- Astronomers announced Monday the discovery of the smallest planet so far found outside of our solar system.
About seven-and-a-half times as massive as Earth, and about twice as wide, this new extrasolar planet may be the first rocky world ever found orbiting a star similar to our own.
"This is the smallest extrasolar planet yet detected and the first of a new class of rocky terrestrial planets," said team member Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. "It's like Earth's bigger cousin."