Tuesday, July 19, 2011

HD 132563B b Brings Exoplanetary Discoveries to 564!

From July 1, three exoplanetary discoveries were made, making the charts soar to the magnificent number of 564 known exoplanets, or planets that orbit another star outside of our own solar system. July 5 brought us two discoveries, CoRoT-19 b & CoRoT-21 b (apparently CoRoT-20 b was discovered on June 14...) and HD 132563B b was discovered just a day later. 2011 has been such a prolific year of discoveries, an actual forty-seven exoplanets have been discovered. What a remarkable count so far compared to last years!

Amazing to note, both CoRoT exoplanets have the exact same orbit, as seen below. Most CoRoT exoplanets are the "same" in context, so this shouldn't suprise you much that they much alike.

But, HD 132563Bb has an extremely opposite orbit than the other. It's rare for an exoplanet without companions to be as far out as this, for PSR 1257b (first exoplanet discovered in 1991) has a farther orbit, but has companions like others just like it.

Although these findings are not incredibly huge, nevertheless we are one step closer to finding new worlds!


  1. Given the eccentricity of HD 132563Bb's orbit, how much difficulty does that put on there being a planet within the circumstellar habitable zone of that star?

  2. Well, first and obviously, HD 13256Bb's orbit is out of the habitual zone (you can see by its orbit - the habitual zone is located around the earth's orbit on the map above). But, if the exoplanet was in the habitual zone and has the same, eccentric orbit, I would say that the chance of life on that planet would be not too likely, on account of the fact that every time that planet orbits, it freezes at its aphelion, and bakes at its perihelion. Earth's orbit is an ellipse, but not as eccentric as HD 132563B's.