Neptune-sized exoplanet discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — An international group of astronomers announces the discovery of a new exoplanet as part of the next generation transit study (NGTS). The discovered alien world, designated NGTS-14Ab, is about 30% larger than Neptune.

NGTS is a wide-field photometric survey focused primarily on the search for exoplanets the size of Neptune and smaller ones passing by bright stars. The project uses a set of small, fully robotic telescopes at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, operating in the red optical range. It uses transit photometry to find new exomers, which accurately measures the darkening of a star to detect the presence of a planet.

A group of astronomers led by Alexis Smith of the Institute for Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center discovered a new planet as part of the NGTS survey. Photometric observations of NGTS-14, a binary star located about 1,000 light-years away, have identified a transit signal on the light curve of NGTS-14A, a class K dwarf in the system. The planetary nature of this signal was confirmed by subsequent observations of the star using the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and various ground-based telescopes.

“Transits NGTS-14Ab were detected by photometry from the NGTS survey. Subsequent transit photometry was carried out from several ground objects, and also extracted from TESS full-frame images, ”wrote the astronomers.

The radius of NGTS-14Ab is about 0.44 that of Jupiter, and its mass is about 0.1 that of Jupiter, which implies an average density of 1400 kg / m3, which implies the preservation of the original atmosphere. The planet orbits its parent star every 3.53 days at a distance of approximately 0.04 AU. from her. According to calculations, the equilibrium temperature is about 1143 K.

NGTS-14Ab’s short orbital period, as well as the fact that it is slightly larger and more massive than Neptune, places it in the “Neptune Desert.” This is a relatively unpopulated region of parameter space, characterized by a shortage of intermediate mass planets with short orbital periods.

“NGTS-14Ab joins a growing number of planets that inhabit the Neptune Desert, a sparsely populated region of parameter space between hot Jupiters and super-Earths in the radius-period plane,” the researchers explained.

The study also shed more light on the properties of the star in the recently discovered extrasolar world. According to the article, NGTS-14A is about 5.9 billion years old, has a radius of about 0.84 times the radius of the Sun and is 10% less than the mass of the Sun. The star’s effective temperature is estimated at 5,187 K, and its metallicity [Fe / H] is about 0.1.

As for the second component of the studied star system, designated NGTS-14B, astronomers assume that it is a star of spectral type M2.5V, separated from NGTS-14A by about 1137 AU. Further observations are needed to determine the parameters of NGTS-14B.


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