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 Project News

2011/10/09:23 new SuperWASP planets announced

New SuperWASP-South discoveries WASP-20b, WASP-42b, WASP-47b, WASP-49b, WASP-52b, WASP-53b, WASP-54b, WASP-55b, WASP-56b, WASP-57b, WASP-58b, WASP-59b, WASP-60b, WASP-61b, WASP-62b, WASP-63b, WASP-64b, WASP-65b, WASP-66b, WASP-67b, WASP-68b, WASP-69b, and WASP-70b were announced at the Extreme Solar Systems II conference, Wyoming, September 12th, 2011. This brings the total number of exoplanets discovered by SuperWASP to 65. Please see the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia at for more details whilst we update our planets page.

2010/05/20:Hubble Finds Star Eating a Planet

The hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The planet may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured. The planet, called WASP-12b, is so close to its sunlike star that it is superheated to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and stretched into a football shape by enormous tidal forces. The atmosphere has ballooned to about three times Jupiter's radius and is spilling material onto the star. The planet is 40 percent more massive than Jupiter. This effect of matter exchange between two stellar objects is commonly seen in close binary star systems, but this is the first time it has been so clearly seen for a planet. For artist's illustrations and more information on WASP-12b, visit:
Wasp Planets page

Update 26/05/10:
The discovery featured on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC in the US and on CNN and ABC.


For commentary on the implications of the spin-orbit alignment statistics, see Greg Laughlin's blog on the subject:

2010/04/13:New WASP Planets: Turning Planetary Theory Upside Down

The discovery of several new transiting exoplanets is announced today at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM 2010) in Glasgow. When these new results were combined with earlier observations of transiting exoplanets astronomers were surprised to find that six out of a larger sample of 27 were found to be orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star — the exact reverse of what is seen in our own Solar System. The new discoveries provide an unexpected and serious challenge to current theories of planet formation. They also suggest that systems with exoplanets of the type known as hot Jupiters are unlikely to contain Earth-like planets.

More information about the new planets can be found here

Full details can be found from the press releases: ESO NAM LCOGT

Pre-publication copies of papers describing the new discoveries can be found here.

2007/12/13: The discovery of 3 new planets by SuperWASP has been voted the 6th most important scientific discovery of 2007 by Time: Click here.

2007/10/31: The WASP consortium has announced the discovery of three new transiting planets. WASP-3b was discovered by the SuperWASP-North observatory and WASP-4b and WASP-5b are the first two planets to be discovered by SuperWASP-South.

2007/09/11: The SuperWASP project was featured in the BBC2 series "The Cosmos - A beginners guide" presented by Adam Hart-Davis. More information can be found here.

2006/09/26: Members of SuperWASP attended the inaugural Transiting Planets Conference held at the Max-Planck institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. The discovery of WASP-1b/2b was announced by Rachel Street and talks were also given by Alexis Smith and Peter Wheatley and posters presented by Becky Enoch/Rachel Street, Tim Lister and David Wilson.
Conference Dinner Photo

2006/09/26: SuperWASP discovers two new transiting extra-solar planets.

2006/09/07: The annual SuperWASP meeting was held this year in Warwick organised by Pete Wheatley.  Discussions of current progress and future plans were made together with details of recent follow-up results.

2006/06/26: SuperWASP-South live status page launched. Click here

2006/02/19: Science observations at SuperWASP-South begin. Click here for more.

2006/03/09: First light images from SuperWASP-South now available. Click here for more.

2005/08/25: SuperWASP-South observatory near completion. Click here for more.

2005/07/05: The annual SuperWASP meeting was held at the Open University in Milton Keynes.  The event is a great opportunity for consortium members to meet, review progress and discuss future developments.  Reports were given on the upgrades to the North observatory and the progress building the South observatory, which is now entering the final stages.  Up to date information on the South observatory can be found here.  Some excellent demonstrations of the archive were given but the best news was the progress made processing the 2004 data; it is expected our first transit candidates will emerge shortly. DW

2004/10/01: SuperWASP featured on BBC's 'Sky at Night'. Click here to watch online.

2004/08: Location of SW-S decided - SAAO, South Africa. See Map for more details.

2004/04: SW-N begins first observing season.

2004/04/16: SuperWASP featured on BBC News online. Click here to read article.

2004/04/16: SW-N inauguration from ING office - click here for images and video.

2003/08: Keele University joins SuperWASP collaboration.

2003/07/18: SW-N up and running. First-light images available - see Gallery for pictures.

2003/05/14: Construction of SW-N on La Palma begins.

2003/05/1-2: Third SuperWASP collaboration meeting. The minutes of our discussions are available from the WASP members only pages.

2002/09/11: Second SuperWASP meeting held in St. Andrews. (Notes on the discussions, and the agenda are available from the WASP members only pages).

2002/08/08: Manufacture of arm on which cameras will be mounted completed; to be shipped to Torus soon.
Site on La Palma agreed, beginning application for planning permission.
Priced agreement with ING established.
Second science grade CCD camera (QUB sponsored) arrived.

2002/07/17: Construction of the enclosure has begun.

2002/06/28: First science-grade camera ready.
Final decision has been made regarding the site: SuperWASP will go to La Palma.
Torus report that the mount will be ready in early Sept. 2002.

2002/05/28: First on-sky exposures available from first camera using engineering-grade CCD.

2002/05/early: First CCD camera delivered by Andor with engineering-grade CCD.

2002/04/10: Successful frame readout from first camera DAS (without camera).

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