Discovery of the distant cool sub-Neptune mass planet OGLE 2005-BLG-390Lb by microlensing

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The favoured theoretical explanation for planetary systems formation is the core-accretion model in which solid planetesimals accumulate to build up planetary cores, which then accrete nebular gas if they are sufficiently massive. Around M-dwarf stars, the most common stars of our Galaxy, this model favours the formation of Earth- to Neptune-mass planets in a few million years with orbital sizes of 1 to 10 AU, which is consistent with the small number of detections of giant planets with M-dwarf host stars. More than 170 extrasolar planets have been discovered so far with a wide range of masses and orbital periods, ... continued below

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Beaulieu, J P; Bennett, D P; Fouque, P; Williams, A; Dominik, M; Jorgensen, U G et al. November 7, 2005.

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The favoured theoretical explanation for planetary systems formation is the core-accretion model in which solid planetesimals accumulate to build up planetary cores, which then accrete nebular gas if they are sufficiently massive. Around M-dwarf stars, the most common stars of our Galaxy, this model favours the formation of Earth- to Neptune-mass planets in a few million years with orbital sizes of 1 to 10 AU, which is consistent with the small number of detections of giant planets with M-dwarf host stars. More than 170 extrasolar planets have been discovered so far with a wide range of masses and orbital periods, but planets of Neptune's mass or less have not previously been detected at separations of more than 0.15 AU from normal stars. Here we report the discovery of a 5.5{sub -2.7}{sup +5.5} Earthmass planetary companion at a separation of 2.6{sub -0.6}{sup +1.5}AU from a 0.22{sub -0.11}{sup +0.21} M{sub e} M-dwarf star, which is the lens star for gravitational microlensing event OGLE 2005-BLG-390. This is the lowest mass ever reported for an extrasolar planet orbiting a main sequence star, although the error bars overlap those for the mass of GJ876d. Our detection suggests that such cool, sub-Neptune mass planets may be common than gas giant planets, as predicted by the core accretion theory.

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PDF-file: 18 pages; size: 0 Kbytes

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  • Journal Name: Nature; Journal Volume: 439; Journal Issue: 7075

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JRNL-216921
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 887282
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886352

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • November 7, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 7, 2016, 10:52 a.m.

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Beaulieu, J P; Bennett, D P; Fouque, P; Williams, A; Dominik, M; Jorgensen, U G et al. Discovery of the distant cool sub-Neptune mass planet OGLE 2005-BLG-390Lb by microlensing, article, November 7, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886352/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.