New exoplanets detected by COROT
22 May 2008The COROT team has detected two new exoplanets and a new type of object. These discoveries were announced this week at the IAU Symposium on Transiting Planets.
The two confirmed exoplanets, CoRoT-Exo-4b and -5b, are hot Jupiters orbiting F-type stars with orbits of 9 days and 4 days respectively. These detections bring the total number of new exoplanets detected by COROT to four.
According to the COROT announcement the third object, CoRoT-Exo-3b, which is in a 4 day orbit around a solar type star, has properties that place it somewhere between a brown dwarf and a planet. It has a radius of about 0.8 times that of Jupiter, but is 20 times more massive. This makes it more dense than Platinum.
The team also announced that they have detected signals as small as 5 parts in ten thousand. If this arises from a transit it would imply the detection of a planet with a radius 1.7 times that of the Earth.
COROT was launched on 27 December 2006. Science observations began on 3 February 2007. The first new exoplanet was detected six months after launch. COROT is currently observing its sixth star field. During this phase it will simultaneously observe 12000 stars.
COROT is a CNES project with ESA participation. The other major partners in this mission are Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain.