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One Planet, Two Stars

7 Oct 2014, 22:00 UTC
One Planet, Two Stars
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Welsh et al. (2014) present the discovery of KIC 9832895b, a circumbinary planet in a 240.5 day orbit around an eclipsing binary. Basically, an eclipsing binary is a pair of stars that appear to eclipse one another as they orbit around each other. In the case of KIC 9832895b, it orbits around an eclipsing binary consisting of a pair of stars with 0.93 and 0.194 times the Sun’s mass. Both stars orbit around one another with a period of 27.3 days. The orbital period of KIC 9832895b is 8.8 times the orbital period of the eclipsing binary. This places the planet safely outside the dynamical instability zone.Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a gaseous planet which KIC 9832895b might resemble.Figure 2: Face-on view of KIC 9632895b’s orbit, showing the habitable zone (HZ). The dark green region corresponds to the narrow (conservative) HZ and the light green corresponds to the nominal (extended) HZ. The dashed red circle represents the dynamical instability zone. The orbit of KIC 9632895b is shown in white. Welsh et al. (2014).KIC 9832895b was detected from its three transits across the primary star (i.e. the more mass star) of the eclipsing binary. The transit depth indicates that KIC 9832895b ...

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