Einstein's Planet

Image: David A. Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
June 13, 2016
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Einstein's Planet
Image: David A. Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

“Einstein’s planet,” formally known as Kepler-76b, is a “hot Jupiter” that orbits its star every 1.5 days. Its diameter is about 25 percent larger than Jupiter and it weighs twice as much. This artist's conception shows Kepler-76b orbiting its host star, which has been tidally distorted into a slight football shape (exaggerated here for effect). The planet was detected using the BEER algorithm, which looked for brightness changes in the star as the planet orbits due to relativistic BEaming, Ellipsoidal variations, and Reflected light from the planet.