Smallest Exoplanet Found To Date


This system presents yet another problem for planet formation theory in that these planets are way to close to their star to have formed where they are, This is a recurring situation and even if it can be explained away tit still  shows that our star system unique in having the distances and distribution of size that it does


NASA/JPL-Caltch

About the size of Mars, it is smallest exoplanet found to date. Discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope is part of a three planet system which is also the smallest star system ever found. The order of the planes is KOI-961.02, KOI-961.01, and KOI-961.03. KOI-961.03 is the one about the size of mars. The star they obit is a red dwarf called KOI-961 that has a diameter about 1/6th that of our sun and only 70% bigger than Jupiter This discovery shows that red dwarf stars have rocky planets.


NASA/JPL-Caltch

KOI-961.01

0.78 Earth

KOI-961.02

0.73 Earth

KOI-961.03

0.57 Earth

This size comparison shows the to be the smallest exoplanets with the largest one being just over 3/4 the size of Earth. This is actually makes not a  surprise because they orbit such a small and a gas giant planet orbiting this star would have caused wobble in the star that would have been easily detected. 


NASA/JPL-Caltch

The above picture shows just just how small this star system us, It is actually closer to the scale of Jupiter's moon than our sun. All three planets have orbital periods less than two days and  they are close enough to the star that they are way too hot for life. It is interesting to note that KOI-961.01 is closer to the star than Jupiter's moon Callsto to Jupiter and  KOI-961.02 is closer than Ganymede.

 


 

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