Jupiter cruising like Mercury?

French space agency reports a new planet

A planet discovered 1,500 light years from Earth… could become a ‘Rosetta stone’ [that helps us] understand other ‘exoplanets’ elsewhere in the galaxy.

Dr Hans Deeg, one of the scientists from the Institute of Astrophysics, said: ‘Corot-9b is the first exoplanet that really does resemble planets in our solar system. It has the size of Jupiter and an orbit similar to that of Mercury.’

The planet was detected by the CoRoT space telescope operated by the French space agency, CNES.

Its Sun-like parent star, Corot-9, is in the constellation of Serpens, the Snake.

More than 400 exoplanets have been discovered to date, but most are so-called ‘hot Jupiters’ – gas giants that hug their parent stars in close orbits and have surface temperatures of 1,000C or more.

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