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Beyond Earthly Skies

Giant Planet around Aldebaran

4 Jul 2015, 23:00 UTC
Giant Planet around Aldebaran
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Aldebaran is an orange giant star located approximately 65 light years away in the constellation Taurus. It is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and is also one of the brightest stars in the night sky. Aldebaran is currently in an advance stage of stellar evolution and has expanded to 44.2 times the Sun’s diameter. The surface temperature of Aldebaran is about 4,000 K and the star shines with ~500 times the Sun’s luminosity.Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a giant planet.Using new radial velocity measurements combined with data from observations stretching back 30 years, Hatzes et al. (2015) present the detection of a giant planet around Aldebaran. The amplitude of the radial velocity curve of Aldebaran indicates how much back and forth motion the star is experiencing due to the gravitational tugging from a companion planet. This enables the mass of the planetary companion around Aldebaran to be determined. Assuming Aldebaran has 1.13 ± 0.11 times the Sun’s mass, its planetary companion is estimated to have at least 6.47 ± 0.53 times the mass of Jupiter. With such a mass, the planetary companion is a giant planet. It orbits Aldebaran at a distance of 1.46 ± 0.27 AU, and ...

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