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Planet discovery a lesson in persistence, BYU astronomy students say

First Published      Last Updated May 11 2017 03:05 pm


Finding could yield clues on how planets form and interact with one another.

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Though a hot gas giant with virtually no chance of sustaining life, KELT-16b is of interest for other reasons.

It's unlikely that a planet so large could have formed in the solar system where it's currently located, Stephens said, and it could yield clues on how planets form and interact with one another.

Its BYU discoverers Patterson, Farnbach and Matt all graduated last week and will be leaving the school.

Matt intends to attend graduate school at Montana State University, where he will continue his astronomy studies. Patterson plans to go to work for his family's Utah-based home construction business, and Farnbach will be moving to Texas, where she will look for work related to astronomy.




Meanwhile, Stephens said she and others are busy training a new batch of first-year planet-hunters with plans to continue the search, a mission she described as a "baby step in the search for life."

Her team is already close to confirming a second planet and Stephens said she expects to find more in the future.

epenrod@sltrib.com

Twitter: @EmaPen

 

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