From Universe Today: “Earth-Sized Planet Takes Just Four Hours to Orbit its Star”

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Universe Today

21 July 2017
Matt Williams

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Using data obtained by Kepler and numerous observatories around the world, an international team has found a Super-Earth that orbits its red dwarf star in just over 4 hours. Credit: M. Weiss/CfA

The Kepler space observatory has made some interesting finds since it began its mission back in March of 2009.

NASA/Kepler Telescope

Even after the mission suffered the loss of two reaction wheels, it has continued to make discoveries as part of its K2 mission. All told, the Kepler and K2 missions have detected a total of 5,106 planetary candidates, and confirmed the existence of 2,493 planets.

One of the latest finds made using Kepler is EPIC 228813918 b, a terrestrial (i.e. rocky) planet that orbits a red dwarf star some 264 to 355 light years from Earth. This discovery raises some interesting questions, as it is the second time that a planet with an ultra-short orbital period – it completes a single orbit in just 4 hours and 20 minutes – has been found orbiting a red dwarf star.

The study, which was recently published online [MNRAS], was conducted by an international team of scientists who hail from institutions ranging from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) to observatories and universities from all around the world.

See the full article here .

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