University of Warwick, UK | 2020 Jul 21
The rediscovery of a lost planet could pave the way for the detection of a world within the habitable ‘Goldilocks zone’ in a distant solar system.The NGTS facilities in Chile
The planet, the size and mass of Saturn with an orbit of thirty-five days, is among hundreds of ‘lost’ worlds that University of Warwick astronomers are pioneering a new method to track down and characterise in the hope of finding cooler planets like those in our solar system, and even potentially habitable planets.
... the planet named NGTS-11b orbits a star 620 light years away and is located five times closer to its sun than Earth is to our own.
The planet was originally found in a search for planets in 2018 by the Warwick-led team using data from NASA’s TESS telescope. This uses the transit method to spot planets, scanning for the telltale dip in light from the star that indicates that an object has passed between the telescope and the star. However, TESS only scans most sections of the sky for 27 days. This means many of the longer period planets only transit once in the TESS data. And without a second observation the planet is effectively lost. The University of Warwick led team followed up one of these ‘lost’ planets using the telescopes at the Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) in Chile and observed the star for seventy-nine nights, eventually catching the planet transiting for a second time nearly a year after the first detected transit. ...
NGTS-11 b (TOI-1847 b): A Transiting Warm Saturn Recovered from a TESS Single-transit Event ~ Samuel Gill et al