Doha, December 15 (QNA) - Qatari astronomer Dr Khalid Al Subai has become instrumental in the discovery of a new alien planet, working in collaboration with scientists from the UK and the US. This hot Jupiter, now named Qatar-1b, adds to the growing list of alien planets orbiting distant stars, or exoplanets.
Qatar-1b is a gas giant 20 percent larger than Jupiter in diameter and 10 percent more massive. It belongs to the hot Jupiter family because it orbits 3.5 million km from its star - only six stellar radii away. The planet roasts at a temperature of around 1100 degrees Celsius.
Khalid, leader of the Qatar exoplanet survey and a research director at Qatar Foundation teamed up with scientists from Universities of St Andrews, Leicester and Keele in the UK and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in the US to discover a new alien world.
Building on UK technology developed for the SuperWASP exoplanet survey, the St Andrews and Leicester teams worked with Al Subai to establish the computer systems used to process raw images from the Al Subai cameras, extracting and sifting through data from hundreds of thousands of stars.
The team has submitted their results to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
"Qatar is proud to contribute to the search for planets around other stars. The discovery of Qatar-1b is a great achievement one that further demonstrates Qatar s commitment to becoming a leader in innovative science and research" Qatari English daily" The Peninsula" quoted today Al Subai as saying.
"The discovery of Qatar-1b marks the beginning of a new era of collaborative astrophysics research between Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United States" he added.
To find the new world, Qatar s wide-angle cameras (located in New Mexico) took images of the sky every clear night beginning in early 2010. The photographs then were transmitted to the UK for analysis by collaborating astronomers at St Andrews and Leicester Universities and by Al Subai in Qatar. That analysis narrowed the field to a few hundred candidate stars.
The Harvard-Smithsonian team, with Al Subai, followed up on the most promising candidates, making spectroscopic observations with the 1.5m diameter telescope at the Smithsonian s Whipple Observatory in Arizona.
Such observations can weed out binary-star systems with grazing eclipses, which mimic planetary transits. They also measured the stars dimming more accurately using KeplerCam on Whipple s 1.2 m telescope. (QNA)
Follow us on our social media channels: