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KIC 5621294 and its Circumbinary Substellar Companion

24 Dec 2015, 22:00 UTC
KIC 5621294 and its Circumbinary Substellar Companion
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Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a brown dwarf as seen from a hypothetical planet in a close-in orbit around the brown dwarf.KIC 5621294 is an eclipsing binary system consisting of two stars in a tight orbit that causes them to partially eclipse one another. The primary star has 1.95 times the mass and 0.99 times the radius of the Sun, and the secondary star has 0.43 times the mass and 1.39 times the radius of the Sun. Both stars orbit around each other every 0.9389 days. Given enough time, the eclipsing binary system of KIC 5621294 will evolve into a contact configuration as the system continues to lose angular momentum. A contact configuration is one where both stars are in direct contact with each other. Photometric observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope reveal the presence of variations in the eclipse timings. These timing variations indicate the presence of a third-body in a circumbinary orbit around KIC 5621294. Gravitational effects from the third-body perturb the central binary, resulting in the eclipse timing variations.The third-body is estimated to have at least 46.9 times the mass of Jupiter and the effect it has on the central binary indicates an orbital period of 961 ...

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