Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hot Jupiter Trojans! MOST finds exoasteroids?

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When putting together Mang gets a space telescope! I found an abstract of a paper at The Science of Most. I haven't read the full paper yet, but if I read this correctly the MOST team may have found a Trojan asteroid swarm accompanying HD 209458b an exoplanet orbiting a sun like star about 150 light years away.

This is especially impressive given that the actual telescope in MOST is smaller than many amateur scopes!

The paper can be found here Searching for asteroids around another star.

I may be missing something but, I've never heard of an exoasteroid discovery before. It never even occurred to me that it they could be detected with current telescopes.

Now why is this not very big news?

Given the conservative title of the article and a quick peek at it, I gather that the results are preliminary but promising. It sounds like they are still sorting out some details like trying to eliminate possible noise.

Still if it isn't conclusive yet, the game is definitely afoot.

Update: A quick check indicates that exosolar asteroids are new. Just not as new as I'd originally thought. Still, they've never made big mainstream news the way exoplanets have.

1 comment:

Gordo said...

That IS impressive. I'm going to have to have a chat with one of the astro profs here at work about this. :-)