I am pleased to announce that I am a new author for the astobites blog. But don’t worry, I’m not abandoning AstronoMerrdiff! Astrobites summarizes recent papers in astronomy for a target audience of undergraduate science majors. If that’s not you, don’t despair – we take care to explain unfamiliar concepts, and if there’s something I can help you understand, I’d love to hear from you.
My first astrobite explores the properties of another Solar System very different from our own, called Kepler-56 (because it was discovered with the Kepler satellite). The paper was recently published in the journal Science by Daniel Huber et al. There is a red giant star at the center of Kepler-56, much larger and brighter than our Sun, rotating at an odd angle. Two gas giant planets revolve around it, and another more distant object also orbits at a different angle – kind of like Pluto in our own Solar System, but significantly more massive. Many different kinds of measurements were used to piece together the full picture, since Kepler-56 is much too distant for us to simply take a picture and see any planets.