Monday, 29 January 2018

New planet discovered in the Hyades star cluster

A group of scientists lead by David R. Ciardi from Caltech and Ian J. M. Crossfield from MIT have collectively reported the discovery of a Neptune-size planet in the Hyades Cluster. They have named it as K2-136A c.



Image credits : wikipedia

The scientists have performed many detection methods including high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy to identify the host star, its binary partner and for confirming the cluster.

With an age of 625 to 750 million years, the Hyades is the nearest Star cluster to our sun. It is approximately 150 light years away. The Hyades is one of the most studied star-cluster among all we know; So, by detecting planets inside it and studying their population would give us an outline in understanding the formation of planets and hence gives the information regarding the evolution of planetary systems. Most stars are believed to form inside open-clusters, but most planets have been found around old, isolated stars.
There was always many studies trying to find planets in the open clusters as the stars are typically well understood in terms of mass, and age.

Discovering exoplanets in the open clusters will enable us to find the possible evolutionary effects on the distribution as well as characteristics on exoplanets with time and age.

K2-136A c is the first Neptune-sized planet to be found orbiting in a binary system within an open cluster.
The host star of the planet is in a binary system, comprising a K5V star and M7/8V star with a projected separation of 40 AU.The planet orbits the primary star with an orbital period of 17.3 days and a transit duration of 3 hrs.

The paper was published in The Astronomical Journal, Volume 155, Number 1 

Astronomy

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