“a planet-finding production line..”

As briefly mentioned here, the Queens University astronomers responsible for the SuperWASP Camera on La Palma were named among the top ten scientific discoverers last year. And with Queens currently hosting the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting 2008, they’ve chosen this week to reveal the discovery of ten new exo-planets, bringing their personal tally to 15. Although, those particular exo-planets seem unlikely to have liquid water.. But others might have organic compounds..

Among the planets discovered using SuperWasp are WASP-12B. A year – its orbital period – on WASP-12B is just 1.1 days. The planet is so close to its star that its day-time temperature could reach a searing 2,300 degrees celsius. Scientists have found more than 270 extrasolar planets since the first one was discovered in the early 1990s, but the pace of discovery has been accelerated by SuperWasp technology.