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Sun-Like Star with Two Low Density Sub-Saturns

30 Nov 2015, 22:00 UTC
Sun-Like Star with Two Low Density Sub-Saturns
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Using data collected by the repurposed Kepler Space Telescope, now known as K2, Petigura et al. (2015) present the discovery of two low density sub-Saturn planets orbiting a Sun-like star identified as EPIC-203771098. The planets are designated with the suffixes “b” and “c”. Planet “b” is the inner planet and planet “c” is the other planet. EPIC-203771098 was observed by K2 from 23 August to 14 November 2014. The planets were detected by K2 as they periodically transit EPIC-203771098. The transit depths from the transit light curves indicate that planet “b” has 5.68 ± 0.56 times the radius of Earth and planet “c” has 7.82 ± 0.72 times the radius of Earth.Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a gaseous exoplanet.Figure 2: Transit light curves indicating the presence of planet “b” (red) and planet “c” (blue). Petigura et al. (2015)Subsequent radial velocity measurements of EPIC-203771098 with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) on the Keck Telescope in Hawaii allow the masses of the two planets to be determined. Planet “b” has 21.0 ± 5.4 times the mass of Earth and planet “c” has 27.0 ± 6.9 times the mass of Earth. With the sizes and masses of both planets known, the densities ...

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