Guðmundur Stefánsson and Collaborators Discover the first Neptune-mass Planet in a close-in orbit around a Very Low Mass Star

Nov. 30, 2023

Guðmundur Stefánsson, NASA Sagan Fellow, and a team including Professor Joshua Winn have discovered the first Neptune-mass planet known to orbit a very low mass star—a star barely massive enough to be considered to be a star. Stefánsson explains: "The planet is surprisingly massive, given the small size of its host star. Its high mass is challenging our understanding of how planets form around the lowest mass stars.” Professor Winn explained "The discovery and accompanying simulations hint that protoplanetary disk masses—the inventory of gas and dust that planets form from—are more massive than previously thought.”

More information about the discovery can be found on the Science website.

Great work, Guðmundur and Josh!

News Category