COROT-7b is an exoplanet, and is considered one of the "most interesting planets found outside our solar system yet". This is the first "Super-Earth" discovered and the 7th planet found by the COROT satellite. Formerly known as Corot-Exo-7b, this planet was discovered on February 3rd, 2009, predating any terrestrial Kepler planet.
Corot-7b was discovered by the French Corot satellite using differential photometry. The apparent brightness of its host star, Corot-7, was found to slightly dim on a regular period of about 20 hours.
Corot-7 was found in the stellar field LRa01 and was observed between 15 October 2007 to 3 March 2008. It was confirmed to have a 1.3 hour transit in 2008 and was announced a year later.
Corot-7b transits its star once every 20.486 hours, with a transit duration of 1.3 hours. The planet blocks less than 0.25% of the light from Corot-7.
Corot-7b was confirmed to have a diameter around 1.53 times that of Earth, or about 12,163 miles. However, its mass is not well known. The young age of the Corot-7 systems means that Corot-7b's star is highly active and interrupts the radial velocity signal that would show the planet's mass.
The original discovery paper of Corot-7b by Didlier Queloz weighed Corot-7b at about 4.8 times the mass of Earth. This would give the planet a density around 5.6/6.9 grams per cubic centimeter. The observations that gave Corot-7b this mass also showed the existence of a non-transiting planet known as Corot-7c. Another paper by Artie P. Hatzes gave Corot-7b 6.9 Earth masses and gave evidence for a third planet, Corot-7d.
- ↑ Study: Strange Planet Has Atmosphere of Gaseous Rock—and It Rains Pebbles, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2009/10/01/study-strange-planet-has-atmosphere-of-gaseous-rock%E2%80%94and-it-rains-pebbles/