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Planet Hunters confirm one exoplanet discovery and spot 42 candidate exoplanets

7 Jan 2013, 05:24 UTC
Planet Hunters confirm one exoplanet discovery and spot 42 candidate exoplanets
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The Planet Hunters citizen science program has announced the second confirmation of a new exoplanet and the addition of 42 new candidate planets:
/-- A Newly Confirmed Planet and 42 Additional Planet Candidates - Planet Hunters
/-- Citizen-Science Project Reports Another Confirmed Exoplanet - citizensinspace.org

We are pleased to announce the discovery and confirmation of our second confirmed planet : PH2 b-a Jupiter-size planet in the habitable zone of a star like the Sun-by the Planet Hunter project. The paper has already been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal and has been made public via arxiv.org.

The estimated surface temperature of 46 degrees Celsius is right for there to be liquid water, but it is extremely unlikely that life exists on PH2 b because it is a gas planet like our Jupiter, and thus there is no solid surface or liquid environment for life to thrive. In order to study this interesting system, we used the HIRES spectrograph and NIRC2 adaptive optics system on the Keck telescopes in Hawaii to obtain both high resolution spectrum and high spatial-resolution images. The observations help us to rule out possible scenarios for false positive detections and give us a measured confidence level ...

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