Einstein provides a blueprint for discovering planets.
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Einstein’s relativity theory is having a great year. Less than a month after Max Planck Institute researchers observed a neutron star and white dwarf star orbiting each other and exhibiting gravitational interactions that matched the theory of relativity exactly, another international team of astronomers credited Einstein’s theory with enabling them to locate another planet in another star system.
They’ve dubbed the planet in question Kepler-76b, and it’s a Jupiter-like gas giant, some 25 percent larger than Jupiter and with double the planet’s mass. Its star is in the constellation Cygnus and is about 2,000 light-years from Earth.