This is a very interesting piece on the changing views of scientists on how they view the newly discovered solar systems that are similar to our own.
Not very long ago, space scientists expected that if other stars had solar systems, they’d be much like our own – small, rocky planets (like Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) orbiting close to their host star, with gas giants (think of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) farther out. There were good reasons for this, not the least of which was that any self-respecting star would tear a Jupiter-sized planet apart if it were too close. Everything made sense.
So much for that.
- Spectacular Earthrise on Distant Planet (abcnews.go.com)
- Astrophile: Exoplanetary bedfellows make odd couple (newscientist.com)
- Super-Earth’s light seen for the first time (cbc.ca)
- Space Telescope Detects Light from Alien ‘Super-Earth’ for First Time (planetsave.com)
- Rocky Super-Earth and Gas Giant Are Latest Superstar Couple (wired.com)