New sub-Jupiter class exoplanet discovered

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers has reported the discovery of a new sub-Jupiter-class exoplanet orbiting a dwarf of spectral type M.

This newly discovered planet, designated OGLE-2014-BLG-0319Lb, has a mass of about half that of Jupiter.

Based on the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, microlensing is used to detect objects of planetary and stellar masses, regardless of the amount of light they emit.

This method is sensitive to the mass of the object, not the luminosity, and this allows astronomers to study both light-emitting objects and objects that emit almost no radiation.

In a new study, a team led by Shota Miyazaki of Osaka University, Japan, analyzed a microlensing event known as OGLE-2014-BLG-0319, discovered in 2014, and found a signal indicating the presence of a planetary object.

According to the authors, the signal they observed corresponded to a planet with a mass of about 0.49 Jupiter’s masses, which revolves around the parent star at a distance of about 3.49 astronomical units (1 AU is equal to the average distance from the Earth to the Sun).

The parent star, most likely, is a dwarf of spectral type M, having a mass of about 0.47 solar masses. The system is located in the bulge of the Galaxy, about 25,200 light-years from Earth.

Future additional high-resolution observations will provide new insights into this newly discovered extrasolar planet and its parent star.

The researchers noted that it could take several more years before it is possible to pinpoint the location of the gravitational lens and measure the radiation flux passing through it.


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