NRAO: VLBA Finds Planet Orbiting Small, Cool Star

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NRAO: VLBA Finds Planet Orbiting Small, Cool Star

Post by bystander » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:10 pm

VLBA Finds Planet Orbiting Small, Cool Star
National Radio Astronomy Observatory | 2020 Aug 04
Using the supersharp radio “vision” of the National Science Foundation’s continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), astronomers have discovered a Saturn-sized planet closely orbiting a small, cool star 35 light-years from Earth. This is the first discovery of an extrasolar planet with a radio telescope using a technique that requires extremely precise measurements of a star’s position in the sky, and only the second planet discovery for that technique and for radio telescopes.

The technique has long been known, but has proven difficult to use. It involves tracking the star’s actual motion in space, then detecting a minuscule “wobble” in that motion caused by the gravitational effect of the planet. The star and the planet orbit a location that represents the center of mass for both combined. The planet is revealed indirectly if that location, called the barycenter, is far enough from the star’s center to cause a wobble detectable by a telescope.

This technique, called the astrometric technique, is expected to be particularly good for detecting Jupiter-like planets in orbits distant from the star. This is because when a massive planet orbits a star, the wobble produced in the star increases with a larger separation between the planet and the star, and at a given distance from the star, the more massive the planet, the larger the wobble produced. ...

First Radio Detection of an Extrasolar Planetary System around a Main-Sequence Star
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) | 2020 Aug 04

An Astrometric Planetary Companion Candidate to the M9 Dwarf TVLM 513-46546 ~ Salvador Curiel et al
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