Scientists Make Discovery
A newly discovered exoplanet, known to the world as KELT-11b, has turned out to be a very unusual object. What makes it unusual? Well, to begin with, it’s really not like anything we’ve seen before. Or is it?
1. Here are some details:
It’s the brightest transiting exoplanet visible in the southern hemisphere; It’s one-fifth as massive as Jupiter; and, it orbits its star very closely.
2. A Bit More Detail…
According to the Astrophysical Journal, astronomers are taking a keen interests in the exoplanet. The reason why is because it can be used as a training ground for other industry-related instruments. The results of which can then be used on more complex objects.
3. How It Was Found…
Astonomers discovered the exoplanet as part of the KELT (Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope) survey. By using two small robotic telescopes, one located in South Africa and one in Arizona, the KELT looks for transiting exoplanets. The telescopes are able to spot ones that pass in front of star by measuring fluctuations in the amount of light they receive back.
4. Who’s Responible?
Lead author Joshua Pepper, from Lehigh University, said, “The KELT project is specifically designed to discover a few scientifically valuable planets orbiting very bright stars, and KELT-11b is a prime example of that.” He continued, “We were very surprised by the amazingly low density of this planet. It’s extremely big for its mass. It’s got a fifth of the mass of Jupiter but is puffed up into this really underdense planet.”