Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Jupiter-like planet, Kepler-1647b, orbiting two stars discovered

Scientists have discovered a Jupiter-like planet, Kepler-1647b, orbiting a system of two stars, making it the largest such cosmic body ever found. The planet Kepler-1647b, located in the constellation Cygnus, was discovered by astronomers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre and San Diego State University (SDSU) in the US. Researchers said that the Kepler-1647 is 3700 light-years away and about 4.4 billion
years old, roughly the same age as the Earth.
About Kepler-1647b

• The planet was discovered by using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, an instrument launched in 2009 to look for potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system.
• The stars are similar to the Sun, with one slightly larger than our home star and the other slightly smaller.
• The planet has a mass and radius nearly identical to that of Jupiter, making it the largest transiting circumbinary planet ever found. Planets that orbit two stars are known as circumbinary planets.
• It takes 1107 days (over three years) to orbit its host stars, which is the longest period of any confirmed transiting exoplanet found so far.
• Orbit of the planet puts it within the so-called habitable zone, which means the range of distances from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet.
• Like Jupiter, it is also a gas giant, making the planet unlikely to host life.
The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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