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News From the Field

Astronomers Find Super-Earth Using Amateur, Off-the-shelf Technology

December 16, 2009

artist's conception of a super-Earth Astronomers announced today that they have discovered a "super-Earth" orbiting a red dwarf star, 40 light-years from Earth. They found the distant planet with a small fleet of ground-based telescopes no larger than those many amateur astronomers have in their backyards. Although the super-Earth is too hot to sustain life, the discovery shows that current, ground-based technologies are capable of finding almost Earth-sized planets in warm, life-friendly orbits. Full Story

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

See also: NSF News Release

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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