Thanks to a network of three 1.6-meter telescopes located in Chile, South Africa and Australia, the Korean Microlysis Telescope Network (KMTNet), a team of researchers was able to detect a slightly smaller exoplanet using the microlensing technique.
This technique consists of enlarging the object by another object in front of it from our point of view, which distorts the image of the former because the light is also attracted by gravity. The same distortion also leads to magnification. This is the effect predicted by Einstein, which was then first noticed in practice on May 29, 1919, when during a complete eclipse the light of the star bent from the mass of the Sun.
The purpose of the KMTNet network is precisely to detect extrasolar planets by micro-licensing. With this technology, this telescope network can detect planets with masses that can range from Earth’s mass to Jupiter’s mass. Using this system, they identified KMT-2018-BLG-1990Lb, an equivalent mass of 0.57 Jupiter mass rotating around a red dwarf star with a mass of 0.14 times that of the sun. The system is located about 4000 light-years away from us.
This 33rd exoplanet, discovered thanks to the KMTNet network, once again confirms the fact that the micro-lensing technique can be used not only to detect impressive objects or with a certain level of brightness, but also for exoplanets, even small ones.
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