Finding a 'lost' planet, about the size of Neptune

March 30, 2017, Yale University
Finding a ‘lost’ planet, about the size of Neptune
An artist’s rendering of Kepler-150 f. Credit: Michael S. Helfenbein

Yale astronomers have discovered a "lost" planet that is nearly the size of Neptune and tucked away in a solar system 3,000 light years from Earth.

The new planet, Kepler-150 f, was overlooked for several years. Computer algorithms identify most such "exoplanets," which are planets located outside our solar . The algorithms search through data from space mission surveys, looking for the telltale transits of planets orbiting in front of .

But sometimes the computers miss something. In this case, it was a planet in the Kepler-150 system with a long orbit around its sun. Kepler-150 f takes 637 days to circle its sun, one of the longest orbits for any known system with five or more planets.

The Kepler Mission found four other planets in the Kepler-150 system—Kepler-150 b, c, d, and e—several years ago. All of them have orbits much closer to their sun than the new planet does.

"Only by using our new technique of modeling and subtracting out the transit signals of known could we then actually see it for what it really was," said Joseph Schmitt, a graduate student at Yale and lead author of a new paper in the Astronomical Journal describing the planet. "Essentially, it was hiding in plain sight in a forest of other ."

Co-authors of the study are Yale astronomy professor Debra Fischer and Jon Jenkins of NASA's Ames Research Center.

Explore further: Distant planet systems are shaped like the solar system

More information: Joseph R. Schmitt et al. A Search for Lost Planets in theMulti-planet Systems and the Discovery of the Long-period, Neptune-sized Exoplanet Kepler-150 f, The Astronomical Journal (2017). DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aa62ad

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not rated yet Mar 30, 2017
Heavens !! It's a longer-period orbit; of course it takes time to become apparent...
Good spot, though...
not rated yet Mar 30, 2017

There is a table in this wkipedia article that tells a different story. It shows the orbital period of the earth as 1, or 365.25636 days. It shows the orbital period of all planets in the solar system outside earth orbit to have longer orbital periods than the 637 days mentioned in the article - Mars, for example, at 1.881 or 687.0472132 days.
How can Kepler-150F be "one of the longest orbits for any known system with five or more planets" at 637 days, when the majority of the planets in our own system have longer orbital periods?
1 / 5 (3) Mar 31, 2017
What an absurd discovery.

It can't be imaged.

The only proof we have is that it "fits" models that were "improved" producing this "discovery".

Astronomical models fall by the wayside every day practically as a result of being disproved or in this case discarded as a new one replaced it.

It's pathetic that astronomers use these "discoveries" to boost interest in their field.

It's going to catch up with them eventually when people realize that the only thing that proves they exist are mathematical formulas and models far beyond the ability of most people to understand.

Then when people realize absolutely nothing useful can be done with this information, beyond using it to hype astronomy, people are going to get pissed and totally turned off to it.

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