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Rock solid planet

First compelling evidence found for a terrestrial planet beyond the solar system

By
8:57am, September 16, 2009

There may be no place like home, but a recently discovered planet beyond the solar system has some awfully familiar traits. Astronomers report that new measurements provide the first solid evidence for a rocky extrasolar planet and the orb has a composition similar to that of Earth’s interior.
 
The planet, about 500 light-years from Earth, closely orbits its parent star and is much too hot to support life, about 2,000Ë Celsius on its sunny side. However, the diameter and newly determined mass of the body, dubbed COROT-7b when it was found in February, indicate that the planet has a bulk composition highly similar to Earth’s.
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