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An Ultra-Dense Transiting Brown Dwarf

14 Jun 2016, 22:00 UTC
An Ultra-Dense Transiting Brown Dwarf
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Figure 1: Artist’s impression of what could be a brown dwarf in orbit around a main-sequence star.Bayliss et al. (2016) present the discovery of an ultra-dense brown dwarf in a 40.737 day orbit around its host star. This brown dwarf is identified as EPIC201702477b and it was first reported as a planet candidate based on two transit events observed by K2. Follow up observations, together with high precision radial velocity measurements, confirmed its nature as a brown dwarf. EPIC201702477b has 66.9 ± 1.7 times the mass and 0.757 ± 0.065 times the radius of Jupiter, giving it a remarkably high density of 191 ± 51 g/cm³, around ~25 times the density of iron.EPIC201702477b has the smallest known radius for any brown dwarf, and it is also denser than any planet, substellar mass object or main-sequence star discovered so far. The host star of EPIC201702477b has 0.870 ± 0.013 times the mass and 0.901 ± 0.057 times the radius of the Sun. Its effective temperature is 5517 ± 20 K, and its estimated age is 8.8 ± 4.1 billion years old. Currently, there are only 12 known brown dwarfs (i.e. objects with 13 to 80 times the mass of Jupiter) that ...

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