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'Super-Earth' planet with very short orbital period discovered

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:10 pm

NASA's prolonged Kepler exoplanet-hunting mission, known as K2, has revealed the presence of another "super-Earth" alien world. The newly found planet, designated EPIC 246393474 b (or C12_3474 b), is more than five times more massive than the Earth and orbits its parent star in less than seven hours. The discovery is reported November 6 in a paper published on the arXiv pre-print repository.

Kepler is so far the most prolific planet-hunting telescope. The spacecraft has discovered more than 2,300 exoplanets to date. After the failure of its two reaction wheels in 2013, the mission was repurposed as K2 to perform high-precision photometry of selected fields in the ecliptic. Since then, the revived Kepler spacecraft has detected nearly 160 extrasolar worlds.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:13 pm

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Credit: Barragán et al., 2017

K2 light curve of C12_3474. Stellar activity is seen as the quasi-periodic, long period modulation. Transits are visible as shallow dips. The 5.3-day-long data gap, during which the telescope entered in safe mode, is clearly visible at ∼2/3 of the time series.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:14 pm



Located only 21 light years away, GJ 625 is an M-dwarf star (spectral type M2) about 1/3 the size and mass of the sun.

Such stars offer great potential in the search for alien Earth-like worlds, as low-mass rocky planets appear to be more frequent around M-dwarfs

The newly found alien world, designated GJ 625 b, has a minimum mass of 2.8 Earth masses, which makes it the lightest exoplanet found around an M2 star to date. The planet orbits its host every 14.6 days at a distance of approximately 0.08 AU from the star, which is relatively close. By comparison, Mercury orbits the sun at a mean distance of 0.38 AU.

 
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