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View Full Version : ExoJupiter Discovered via Microlensing



ChesleyFan
2004-Apr-17, 05:33 AM
Check it out.

Microlensed Planet 15,000 Light Years Away (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1242_1.asp)

A couple quick notes:

1. At 1-2.5 Jupiter masses, this would be (I think) the smallest planet yet discovered orbiting a normal star (several planetary-mass objects, ranging in size from the moon to Earth, have been discoevered around pulsars).

2. Extrasolar Visions (http://www.extrasolar.net/mainframes.html) reports a 3 Earth-mass object detected in another galaxy via another microlensing event. The galaxy is located at redshift 0.39-- not sure what that is in lightyears. Unfortunately it's unconfirmable, but we can speculate :) .

3. Considering how rare such microlensing events appear to be, the fact that the first exoplanet discovered using this method is very Jupiter-like in both mass and orbital period suggests to me that Jupiter-mass planets are rather common.

In any case, it's pretty cool!

Quartermain
2004-Apr-17, 08:19 PM
Facinating! If I'm not mistaken until recently our ability to detect planets was limited to a radius of 50 light years or so. The fact that we can now detect Jupiter-sized planets more than 10,000 light years away is amazing. =D>

Does the microlensing technique provide hope for finding even smaller planets much closer, or is it mainly for finding distant planets?

Ilya
2004-Apr-18, 03:12 AM
At 1-2.5 Jupiter masses, this would be (I think) the smallest planet yet discovered orbiting a normal star (several planetary-mass objects, ranging in size from the moon to Earth, have been discoevered around pulsars).

No. Smallest confirmed planet orbiting a normal star has the mass of 0.12 Jupiter:

http://www.obspm.fr/encycl/cat1.html

Search for "0.12"

Kaptain K
2004-Apr-18, 03:57 AM
Isn't Mercury the "smallest confirmed planet orbiting a normal star"?

* Runs and hides :oops:

milli360
2004-Apr-18, 09:38 AM
Isn't Mercury the "smallest confirmed planet orbiting a normal star"?

* Runs and hides :oops:
No, Pluto.

Wait! I'm going with you.

harlequin
2004-Apr-18, 07:14 PM
Isn't Mercury the "smallest confirmed planet orbiting a normal star"?

* Runs and hides :oops:
No, Pluto.

Wait! I'm going with you.

Define planet. :D