Our club is a member of the Night Sky Network ("The Night Sky Network is a partnership of amateur astronomy clubs, NASA, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Astronomical League. <br />") http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/ You can get the updates on Planet Quest here (125 planets and counting) http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/ <br /><br />"NASA to announce major planet discovery<br /><br />A team of planet-hunters will announce their discovery of a new class of planets beyond our solar system at a NASA Science Update at 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 31. Their discovery represents a significant and much-anticipated advance in the hunt for extrasolar planets."<br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>
Extrasolar planets is the new discipline which is as yet based on dubious assumptions.For instance woobling may be due to gravitational interaction of a planet ,but it may mean other things also.Possibly transit method is somewhat foolproof.
<font color="yellow">I would assume that a "New Class" of planet is a type of planet we have never seen before?</font><br /><br />Whew, maybe it's Earthlike planets! And not "earthlike" as in planets 14 times the mass of Earth with a temperature at 900 kelvin, but as in small planets in temperate zones!
Here's the News Release from NASA:<br /><br />Whitney Clavin (626) 354-4673/354-5011<br />Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.<br /><br />Donald Savage (202) 358-1547<br />NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.<br /><br />News Release: 2004-212 August 31, 2004 <br /><br />Scientists Discover First of a New Class of Extrasolar Planets<br /><br />Astronomers announced today the first discovery of a new class of planets beyond our solar system about 10 to 20 times the size of Earth - far smaller than any previously detected. The planets make up a new class of Neptune-sized extrasolar planets.<br /><br />In addition, one of the new planets joins three others around the nearby star 55 Cancri to form the first known four-planet system. <br /><br />The discoveries consist of two new planets. They were discovered by the world renowned planet-hunting team of Drs. Paul Butler and Geoffrey Marcy of the Carnegie Institute of Washington and University of California, Berkeley, respectively; and Barbara McArthur of the University of Texas, Austin. Both findings were peer-reviewed and accepted for future publication in the Astrophysical Journal. NASA and the National Science Foundation funded the research.<br /><br />"NASA, along with our partner NSF, is extremely proud of this significant planetary discovery," said Al Diaz, Associate Administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "The outcome of the tremendous work of the project scientists is a shining example of the value of space exploration."<br /><br />"These Neptune-sized planets prove that Jupiter-sized, gas giants aren't the only planets out there," Marcy said. Butler added, "We are beginning to see smaller and smaller planets. Earth-like planets are the next destination."<br /><br />Future NASA planet-hunting missions, including Kepler, the Space Interferometry Mission and the Terrestrial Planet Finder, will seek such Earth-like planets. Nearly 140 extrasolar planets have been discovered. <br /><br />Both of the new planets stick very <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="1" color="#3366ff">www.siriuslookers.org</font> </div>