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Among thousands of known exoplanets, astronomers flag three that are actually stars


Still Waters

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The first worlds beyond our solar system were discovered three decades ago. Since then, close to 5,000 exoplanets have been confirmed in our galaxy. Astronomers have detected another 5,000 planetary candidates—objects that might be planets but have yet to be confirmed. Now, the list of planets has shrunk by at least three.

In a study appearing in the Astronomical Journal, MIT astronomers report that three, and potentially four planets that were originally discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope are in fact misclassified. Instead, these suspected planets are likely small stars.

The team used updated measurements of planet-hosting stars to double-check the size of the planets, and identified three that are simply too big to be planets. With new and better estimates of stellar properties, the researchers found that the three objects, which are known as Kepler-854b, Kepler-840b, and Kepler-699b, are now estimated to be between two and four times the size of Jupiter.

https://phys.org/news/2022-03-thousands-exoplanets-astronomers-flag-stars.html

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/ac4f64

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