First “map” of an extrasolar planet??
It seem that it is all go in the field of exoplanets… the lowest mass detection a few weeks ago and now this, the first “map”. The first “map” I refer to is [Astronomers make the first map of an extrasolar planet] I’m at a bit of a loss about this map. Ok it is a map but it could be a bit confusing for the non-scientist. Basically they have observed the planet using Spitzer (works in the infrared spectrum) to detect a particular hot spot on the surface, so at best it is a very very low resolution map. Don’t get me wrong the result is quite exciting but it is far from the “first good look at a completely alien world”. The key is that this planet has not be resolved, we have not imaged the planet as you would with Jupiter, but they have measured changes as the planet rotated (based on models of its orbit). Still though it is pretty cool and well on the way to getting to the direct look… now I just need to get the radio detection….