Planet-hunting telescope unearths hot mysteries

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

January 4, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) -- NASA's impressive new planet-hunting telescope has found two mystery objects that are too hot to be planets and too small to be stars.

The Kepler Telescope, launched in March, discovered the two new heavenly bodies, each circling its own star. Telescope chief scientist Bill Borucki of NASA said the objects are thousands of degrees hotter than the stars they circle. That means they probably aren't planets. They are bigger and hotter than planets in our solar system, including dwarf planets.

The new discoveries don't fit into any definition of known astronomical objects, and so far don't have a classification of their own. Details about the mystery objects were presented Monday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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