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Owlscrying

Astronomers Find Their Third Planet-TrES-3

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June 1

Astronomers using the Trans-atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) network of small telescopes are announcing today their discovery of a planet twice the mass of Jupiter that passes in front of its star every 31 hours. The planet is in the constellation Hercules and has been named TrES-3 as the third planet found with the TrES network.

The new planet is the 15th transiting planet discovered so far-in other words, it is a planet that passes directly in front of its home star as seen from Earth.

When a transiting planet passes directly between Earth and the star, the result is a slight reduction in the light in a manner similar to that caused by the moon's passing between the sun and Earth during a solar eclipse. When TrES-3 is in front of the star, it blocks off about 2.5 percent of the star's light, which is an effect observed with the TrES telescopes.

TrES-3 is an unusual planet as it orbits its parent star in just 31 hours.That is to say, the year on this planet lasts less than one and a third Earth days. This means it is very close to the star--much closer than Mercury is to the Sun--and so is heated by the intense starlight to about 1,500 degrees Kelvin. The planet is about 1,500 light-years from Earth.

To look for transits, the small telescopes are automated to take wide-field timed exposures of the clear skies on as many nights as possible. When an observing run is completed for a particular field--usually over an approximate two-month period--astronomers measure very precisely the light from every star in the field in order to detect the possible signature of a transiting planet.

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Thanks for the read Sister Owls!! :)

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Wow so this planet is super huge but closer to it's star than Mercury is to Solar. That's pretty amazing when you think about it. Jupiter is only huge because of it's gases. The solid surface of Jupiter is very small in comparison to the size of the planet itself.

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Wow just imagine how big this planet is, bigger than jupiter incredible. Its gravity must be so strong.

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