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Saturn-Mass Planet Circling a Low-Mass Star

7 May 2015, 22:00 UTC
Saturn-Mass Planet Circling a Low-Mass Star
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Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a gas giant planet.Hartman et al. (2015) present the detection of HATS-6b, a warm gas giant planet in orbit around a low-mass M-dwarf star. HATS-6b is about the same size as Jupiter. It also has ~0.32 times the mass of Jupiter, about the same mass as Saturn. Circling its host star at a distance of 0.036 AU, HATS-6b takes 3.3 days to complete an orbit. The host star of HATS-6b has 0.57 times the Sun’s mass and only ~1/18th the Sun’s luminosity. HATS-6b and its host star are ~500 light-years away.HATS-6b receives considerably less stellar irradiation than hot Jupiters, which is why it is termed a “warm” gas giant planet. Based on the luminosity of its host star and its distance from it, HATS-6b is estimated to have a temperature of about 700 K. Its atmospheric chemistry is expected to be quite different compared to hotter planets. HATS-6b appears to be a promising target for atmospheric characterization with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).The host star of HATS-6b is one of only four stars with less than ~0.6 times the Sun’s mass known to host a gas giant planet in a relatively close-in orbit ...

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