Tomorrow morning, for portions of the North American continent, the Moon will occult Venus. If you live in the USA anywhere west of Chicago, you may be able to view this occultation, weather permitting. Learn more about the lunar occultation of Venus here. And if you are going to be up early in the morning to try to catch this occultation, don’t forget to take a look and see if you can observe any Lyrid meteors.
In an announcement released today, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has announced that a team of astronomers has further analyzed their data from Gliese 581 and believe that they have uncovered evidence of an exoplanet that is only about two times the mass of the Earth. You can read the ESO announcement here. You may be interested to read the paper, which will be published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, online now here. It should be noted that while much of the media is making it known that the newly discovered exoplanet is only about twice, or 1.94 times the mass of Earth, this is really the minimum mass that it could be. The authors themselves state that the mass may be as high as 1.6 times this minimum mass or 3.1 times the mass of the Earth.