A wide co-moving companion to the young M3 star GU Piscium

GUPscb_GMOSiz_WIRCamJ_noinset

Image and text credit: Gemini Observatory

An international team led by Université de Montréal researchers has discovered and photographed a new planet 155 light years from our solar system. GU Psc b is around 2,000 times the Earth-Sun distance from its star, a record among exoplanets. Given this distance, it takes approximately 80,000 Earth years for GU Psc b to make a complete orbit around its star! The researchers also took advantage of the large distance between the planet and its star to obtain images. By comparing images obtained in different wavelengths (colours) from the OMM and CFHT, they were able to correctly detect the planet.

The paper is Marie-Eve Naud et al., (2014) ApJ 787, 5, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/1/5. From the abstract:

We present the discovery of a comoving planetary-mass companion ~42” (~2000 AU) from a young M3 star, GU Psc, a likely member of the young AB Doradus Moving Group (ABDMG). The companion was first identified via its distinctively red i – z color (>3.5) through a survey made with Gemini-S/GMOS. Follow-up Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/WIRCam near-infrared (NIR) imaging, Gemini-N/GNIRS NIR spectroscopy and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer photometry indicate a spectral type of T3.5 ± 1 and reveal signs of low gravity which we attribute to youth. Keck/Adaptive Optics NIR observations did not resolve the companion as a binary. A comparison with atmosphere models indicates T eff = 1000-1100 K and log g = 4.5-5.0. Based on evolution models, this temperature corresponds to a mass of 9-13 M Jup for the age of ABDMG (70-130 Myr).

Exoplanet direct imaging from National Geographic. Update: a new caveat in exoplanet science: exomoons with atmospheres might mimic one atmosphere in chemical disequilibrium. (via pnas.org)

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One Response to “A wide co-moving companion to the young M3 star GU Piscium”

  1. I agre with your article, thank you for providing the information for people to read.

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