Second backwards planet found, a day after the first

By | August 14, 2009

The planet HAT-P-7b, which is about 1.4 times as wide as Jupiter and 1.8 times as massive, seems to orbit its star in the opposite direction to the star's spin (Illustration: Leiden Observatory)Just a day after the announcement of the first extrasolar planet found orbiting its star backwards, two other teams announced the discovery of a second one.

“It is funny that the two good cases for really misaligned orbits, even retrograde orbits, have come at around the same time,” says Joshua Winn of MIT, lead author of one of the new papers.

Both Winn’s team and another, led by Norio Narita at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, used the Japanese Subaru telescope to observe planet HAT-P-7b, a previously known planet about 1000 light years from Earth that was recently observed by NASA’s new planet-hunting satellite Kepler.

Both teams found that the planet’s orbit is wildly tilted with respect to its star’s equator.

via Second backwards planet found, a day after the first – space – 13 August 2009 – New Scientist.

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