Extrasolar Planets: December 2007

In April, a European team of astronomers announced in Astronomy & Astrophysics the discovery of two possibly habitable Earth-like planets. A&A is now publishing two independent, detailed studies of this system, which confirm that one of the planets might indeed be located within the habitable zone around the star Gliese 581.

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Researchers from NAI's University of Hawai'i Team have a new paper in The Astronomical Journal describing a major survey of visual binaries toward the Orion Nebula Cluster. The team used images obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope through an H filter. Among 781 stars that fulfill the criteria for membership in the Orion Nebula Cluster, the group found 78 multiple systems (75 binaries and 3 triples), of which 55 are new discoveries.

[source: NAI Newsletter]