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Beyond Earthly Skies

Two Temperate Super-Earths in a Five Planet System

13 May 2015, 22:00 UTC
Two Temperate Super-Earths in a Five Planet System
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Kepler-296 is a binary star system consisting of two red dwarf stars - Kepler-296A and Kepler-296B. NASA’s Kepler space telescope previously detected the presence of five transiting planets associated with the Kepler-296 system. However, it is unclear whether the five planets orbit Kepler-296A or Kepler-296B since both stars are quite close to one another. Kepler-296A (primary star) is more massive and more luminous than Kepler-296B (secondary star), and it is responsible for ~3/4 of the system’s total luminosity.Using statistical and analytical analysis, Barclay et al. (2015) show the five planets most likely orbit Kepler-296A, the primary star. The five planets around Kepler-296A are termed “super-Earths” because they are somewhat larger in size than Earth. Moving out from Kepler-296A, the five planets are identified as Kepler-296Ac, b, d, e and f.- Planet c: orbital period of 5.8 days, 2.00 times Earth’s diameter and 14.8 times Earth’s insolation.- Planet b: orbital period of 10.9 days, 1.61 times Earth’s diameter and 6.5 times Earth’s insolation.- Planet d: orbital period of 19.9 days, 2.09 times Earth’s diameter and 2.90 times Earth’s insolation.- Planet e: orbital period of 34.1 days, 1.53 times Earth’s diameter and 1.41 times Earth’s insolation.- Planet f: orbital period of 63.3 ...

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