Five exoplanets discovered with orbits from 15 to 40 years long

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Twenty years of observations have now resulted in the discovery of five exoplanets with long solar orbits ranging from 15 to 40 years.

“As early as 1998, a planetary monitoring programme was set up and carried out scrupulously by the many … observers [using the EULER telescope belonging to Geneva University, Switzerland,] who took turns every two weeks in La Silla [Chile] for 20 years”, says Emily Rickman. The result is remarkable: five new planets have been discovered and the orbits of four others known have been precisely defined. All these planets have periods of revolution between 15.6 and 40.4 years, with masses ranging approximately from 3 to 27 times that of Jupiter. This study contributes to increasing the list of 26 planets with a rotation period greater than 15 years.

The press release is very poorly written. It does not explain how 21 years of observations pinpointed the orbit of an exoplanet of forty years. I suspect they have seen enough of the star’s wobble to extrapolate that orbit, but the press release should have explained this.



  • Orion314

    Mr Z, your inference that the press , [by way of affirmative action, my insert] has some sort of clue as to what they are talking about , is most kind. I recall the immortal words of Richard Feynman, who said
    ” If you cannot explain a thing , you cannot possibly understand it.”
    As for me,I’m amazed that most of today’s ” reporters ” don’t start the day by walking outside without their pants on. Then again , maybe they do…

  • Col Beausabre

    I think you can blame this on people who major in Journalism. That may (or may not) teach you how to construct an article or TV/radio report but doesn’t give them background in the subject matter. At one time, major media organizations had such individuals on staff who, either by education or experience, could give context to a story and weed out errors and “spin”. But they are almost extinct – they’re expensive (you’re paying for expertise) and the media wants flash, to grab the attention of the audience before it goes chasing the next bright, shining object, not solid detailed (Borrrring!) analysis.

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