First Solid Evidence For A Rocky Exoplanet: Mass And Density Of Smallest Exoplanet Finally Measured

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This planet has a mass five times that of Earth’s and is in fact the closest known exoplanet to its host star, which also makes it the fastest; it orbits its star at a speed of more than 750,000 kilometers per hour.

The longest set of HARPS measurements ever made has firmly established the nature of the smallest and fastest-orbiting exoplanet known, CoRoT-7b, revealing its mass as five times that of Earth’s. Combined with CoRoT-7b’s known radius, which is less than twice that of our terrestrial home, this tells us that the exoplanet’s density is quite similar to the Earth’s, suggesting a solid, rocky world. The extensive dataset also reveals the presence of another so-called super-Earth in this alien solar system.

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