2016 Issue

Independent Discovery of a Sub-Earth in the Habitable Zone Around a Very Close Solar-Mass Star

Michael B. Lund, Robert J. Siverd, Ponder Stibbons

With the wealth of planets that have been discovered over the past ∼ 20 years, the field can broadly be divided into two regimes. For understanding broad occurrence and formation rates, large numbers of planets allow for population statistics to be calculated, and this work preferentially tends towards fainter planets (and fainter host stars) to allow for a large number of detections. The second regime is the detailed understanding of a single planet, with particular consideration to planetary structure and atmosphere, and in this case benefits from finding individual planets (and host stars) that are very close, and subsequently, very bright. The closest of these also provide very novel possibilities for exploration if they are close enough that travel time to them is relatively low, something that would be extremely unlikely for more distant planets. Here, we announce the independent discovery of a sub-earth planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a very close solar-mass star using a novel processing technique and observations from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT).