Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Awesome: CoRoT-9B is 95-day Period Transiting Planet

Background information on CoRoT-9B
Extrasolar Planet Encyclopedia

Nature Paper
A transiting giant planet with a temperature between 250K and 430K
Deeg et. al. 

With a semi-major axis of ~0.4 AU, this is by far the planet that is most distant from its star among those thus far discovered by the transit method. It's about 2.8x as massive as Saturn, and 0.8x as massive as Jupiter, while being 5% larger than Jupiter and thus 26% larger than Saturn. It kind of says a lot that such a beast excites me in spite of being at a mercury distance.

I imagine that over time this world should be a prime candidate for spotting exomoons and detecting Transit-Timing-Variations.

The image from page 3 of their nature paper, linked to above, along with their caption, shows a good reason to be excited. Their black point is much further up than the other black points - this planet is at a higher period. Hopefully we'll start seeing more of these planets now, which are in my opinion more interesting. CoRoT is certainly supposed to be capable.

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