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Thread: Kepler-186f mass and radius

  1. #1 Kepler-186f mass and radius 
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    Kepler-186f is an exoplanet orbiting the red dwarf Kepler-186, 500 light-years from the Earth.[3][4][5] It is the first planet with a radius similar to Earth's discovered in thehabitable zone of another star.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler-186f

    Kepler-186f's mass, density and composition are unknown but mass estimates range from "0.32M⊕ if composed of pure water/ice to 3.77 M⊕ if the planet is pure iron, and an Earth-like composition (about 1/3 iron and 2/3 silicate rock) would give an intermediate mass of 1.44 M⊕". "...the composition of planets with radii less than about 1.5 R⊕ are unlikely to be dominated by H/He gas envelopes.
    Now my confusion. I feel like I am reading it and just drawing a blank. They are referring to the size and mass of this roughly Earth-sized exoplanet in units of M⊕ and R⊕.

    R⊕ = radius of our Sun
    M⊕ = mass of our Sun

    These units are used for measurement of stars and nebulae, not planets.

    This small planet is between 0.32M⊕ up to 1.44M⊕. They are saying that it could weigh more than our Sun.
    This planet is about 1.4
    R⊕, meaning more than our Sun.

    Are they using the wrong units in the article or am I having a senior moment?


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    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    is the symbol for the Sun
    is the symbol for the Earth.

    So they are talking about the radius and mass of the Earth, not the Sun.


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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus View Post
    is the symbol for the Sun
    is the symbol for the Earth.

    So they are talking about the radius and mass of the Earth, not the Sun.
    OK, thanks. I should wear my glasses when reading text on screen. *shakes head*
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