Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Re: Interesting development

The anagram was "HAT found a Neptune", if you were curious, the second Neptune class exoplanet found. The preprint describes the discovery. The star is in the constellation Eridanus, just south of Taurus in the evening sky. It transits a metal-rich star from our perspective nearly every 5 days, is slightly above the mass of our Neptune, half the size of our Jupiter, orbits the star at only 4 to 5 million miles from the star and is quite warm at about 880K.

What's interesting is HAT has been taking data on this star for over four years before the announcement. The preprint suggests the transit wasn't detected until three years of data were combined to find the shallow dip of the planet in front of the star.

A point of pride is this star is scheduled to be monitored for transits by the next generation satellite Kepler.

EDIT: The star is GSC 03561-02092 and the planet is called HAT-P-11b. (in case you were wondering).

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