The exciting news reached me this morning that Corot-9b, orbiting the constellation of Serpens, located 1,500 light years from Earth, was discovered. I was surprised the discovery wasn't made by our own NASA Kepler Mission but by the CoRoT satellite, operated by the National Center of Space Studies in France. Corot-9b (why did the French give it such an unfashionable name?) was discovered after 145 days of observations during the summer of 2008. With a size similar to Jupiter and an orbit like Mercury's, Corot-9b is made up mostly of gases like hydrogen and helium.
Out of the 400 exoplanets so far discovered, Corot-9b apparently has the most normal, temperate conditions comparable to planets in our solar system, ranging from -4 to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Although those hot temperatures don't exactly exude excitement about sustainable life, this is a step in the direction leading to the discovery of an ‘Earth-like’ planet.