SETI bioastro: Fw: Hubble Makes Precise Measure of Extrasolar World's True Mass

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From: LARRY KLAES (ljk4@msn.com)
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 21:15:17 PST


----- Original Message -----
From: Ron Baalke
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 1:43 PM
To: ljk4@msn.com
Subject: Hubble Makes Precise Measure of Extrasolar World's True Mass

FOR RELEASE: December 3, 2002

CONTACT:
Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD
(Phone: 410/338-4514; E-mail: villard@stsci.edu)

Rebecca Johnson
University of Texas, Austin, TX
(Phone: 512-475-6763; E-mail: rjohnson@astro.as.utexas.edu)

PRESS RELEASE NO.: STScI-PR02-27

HUBBLE MAKES PRECISE MEASURE OF EXTRASOLAR WORLD'S TRUE MASS

An international team of astronomers used the NASA Hubble Space
Telescope to help make a precise measurement of the mass of a planet
outside our solar system. The Hubble results show that the planet is
1.89 to 2.4 times as massive as Jupiter, our solar system's largest
orbiting body. Previous estimates, about which there are some
uncertainties, place the planet's mass at a much wider range: between
1.9 and 100 times that of Jupiter's. The planet, called Gliese 876b,
orbits the star Gliese 876. It is only the second planet outside our
solar system for which astronomers have determined a precise mass.

The observations were made by George F. Benedict and Barbara McArthur
(University of Texas at Austin), members of the international observing
team led by Thierry Forveille (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope
Corporation, Hawaii and Grenoble Observatory, France). The results are
being published in the December 20 issue of Astrophysical Journal
Letters.

Gl 876b is the more distant of two planets orbiting Gliese 876. It was
originally discovered by two groups, led by Xavier Delfosse
(Geneva/Grenoble Observatory) and Geoffrey Marcy (U.C. Berkeley and San
Francisco State University).

To see and read more about Gliese 876b, please click on
http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pr/2002/27
http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/latest.html
http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/pictures.html
http://hubblesite.org/go/news

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by
the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,
Inc. (AURA), for NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space
Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The Hubble Space Telescope is a
project of international cooperation between NASA and the
European Space Agency (ESA).


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