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March 03 2017: A Transiting Extrasolar Ring System

Posted on Jan 4, 2017 in Seminars

Eric Mamajek (JPL)

I’ll discuss the discovery and characterization of the “J1407” (V1400 Cen) system and its eclipsing complex ring system. J1407 is an otherwise unremarkable ~15 Myr-old pre-main sequence solar-mass star lacking infrared excess. The disk/ring system transiting J1407 is tenths of an AU in size with approximate mass similar to that of the Earth, and the best models thus far require dozens of rings. The system is intermediate in size and mass between Saturn’s rings and circumstellar disks, and may represent the first example of a protoexosatellite disk and indirect evidence of exomoon formation.