School of Physics and Astronomy

Exoplanet discovery

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The recent discovery of a new exoplanet provides further evidence that cold Neptune-like bodies may not be that uncommon. The new exoplanet is called MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, after the survey that first issued the alert, and is about ten times more massive than the Earth. It orbits a star with a mass of 0.56 Solar masses at a distance of 3.2 AU. The planet's mass and distance indicate that it may be a "failed Jupiter-core" since current planetary formation theories predict that an object of such characteristics should have swept up the surrounding gas and grown more massive.

Local contact: Y Tsapras (Reference: Muraki et al, 2011, ApJ, 741, 22 )