Hot space projects produce cool cosmic discoveries

NASA, ESA and others' spacecraft and telescopes find new planet, make sense of old ones and solve cosmic mysteries

Water world? A newly discovered gas giant planet may have an interior that closely resembles those of Jupiter and Saturn in our own solar system and may be temperate enough to have liquid water, says Hans Deeg, a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Corot-9b orbits its star every 95.274 days, a little longer than Mercury takes to go around the Sun and it has a radius around 1.05 times that of Jupiter but only 84% of the mass, researchers say. Corot-9b is by far the largest orbit of any transiting planet found so far, researchers say. Because it orbits a star cooler than our Sun, calculations estimate that Corot-9b's temperature could lie somewhere between minus 23 degrees C and minus 157 degrees C. France's Convection rotation and planetary transits (COROT) satellite took pictures of the exoplanet.

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