This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Gliese 876

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gliese 876
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Aquarius
Pronunciation /ˈɡlzə/
Right ascension 22h 53m 16.734s[1]
Declination −14° 15′ 49.32″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 10.15[1]
Spectral type M4V
U−B color index 1.15
B−V color index 1.59
V−R color index 0.30
R−I color index 1.22
Variable type BY Draconis
Radial velocity (Rv) –1.7 ± 2 km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: 959.84 ± 3.36[1] mas/yr
Dec.: −675.33 ± 1.68[1] mas/yr
Parallax (π) 214.6 ± 0.2[2][note 1] mas
Distance 15.20 ± 0.01 ly
(4.660 ± 0.004 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) 11.79
Mass 0.334 ± 0.03[3] M
Radius 0.36 R
Luminosity 0.013[3] L
Luminosity (visual, LV) 0.0016[note 2] L
Surface gravity (log g) 4.89[4] cgs
Temperature 3,473 ± 17[5] K
Metallicity [Fe/H] +0.19 ± 0.17[5] dex
Rotation 96.9[3] days
Rotational velocity (v sin i) 0.16,[3] 1.38[3] [clarification needed] km/s
Age 0.1–9.9[3][6] Gyr
Other designations
BD-15°6290, G 156-057, GCTP 5546.00, HIP 113020, IL Aquarii, LHS 530, Ross 780, Vys 337
Database references
SIMBAD The star
Exoplanet Archive data
Extrasolar Planets
Data sources:
Hipparcos Catalogue,
CCDM (2002),
Bright Star Catalogue (5th rev. ed.)

Gliese 876 is a red dwarf approximately 15 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius.

It is the second-closest-known star to the Sun confirmed to possess a planetary system (after Gliese 674) and the closest such system known to consist of multiple planets. As of 2011, four extrasolar planets have been found to orbit the star.

The planetary system is also notable for the orbital properties of its planets. It is the only known system of orbital companions to exhibit a triple conjunction in the rare phenomenon of Laplace resonance (a type of resonance first noted in Jupiter's inner three Galilean moons). It is also the first extrasolar system around a normal star with measured coplanarity.

Two of the middle planets are located in the system's habitable zone; however, they are giant planets believed to be analogous to Jupiter.

Distance and visibility[edit]

Gliese 876 is located fairly close to the Solar System. According to astrometric measurements made by the Hipparcos satellite, the star shows a parallax of 213.28 milliarcseconds,[1] which corresponds to a distance of 4.69 parsecs (15.3 ly), currently making it the third-closest known star with orbiting planets, after Epsilon Eridani and Gliese 674.[3] Despite being located so close to Earth, the star is so faint that it is invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen using a telescope.

Stellar characteristics[edit]

As a red dwarf, Gliese 876 is much less massive than the Sun: estimates suggest it has only 32% of the mass of the Sun.[7] The surface temperature of Gliese 876 is cooler than the Sun and the star has a smaller radius.[8] These factors combine to make the star only 1.24% as luminous as the Sun, and most of this is at infrared wavelengths.

Estimating the age and metallicity of cool stars is difficult due to the formation of diatomic molecules in their atmospheres, which makes the spectrum extremely complex. By fitting the observed spectrum to model spectra, it is estimated that Gliese 876 has a slightly lower abundance of heavy elements compared to the Sun (around 75% the solar abundance of iron).[4] Based on chromospheric activity the star is likely to be around 6.5 to 9.9 billion years old, depending on the theoretical model used.[6] However, the low rotational period of the star as well as its membership among the young disk population suggest that the star is between 0.1–5 billion years old.[3]

Like many low-mass stars, Gliese 876 is a variable star. Its variable star designation is IL Aquarii and it is classified as a BY Draconis variable. Its brightness fluctuates by around 0.04 magnitudes.[9] This type of variability is thought to be caused by large starspots moving in and out of view as the star rotates.[10] Gliese 876 emits X-rays.[11]

Planetary system[edit]

Observation history[edit]

On June 23, 1998, an extrasolar planet was announced in orbit around Gliese 876 by two independent teams led by Geoffrey Marcy[7] and Xavier Delfosse.[12] The planet was designated Gliese 876 b and was detected by Doppler spectroscopy.

Based on luminosity measurement, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ) is believed to be located between 0.116 and 0.227 AU.[13]

On April 4, 2001, a second planet designated Gliese 876 c was detected, inside the orbit of the previously-discovered planet.[14] The relationship between the orbital periods initially disguised the planet's radial velocity signature as an increased orbital eccentricity of the outer planet. Eugenio Rivera and J. Lissauer found that the two planets undergo strong gravitational interactions as they orbit the star, causing the orbital elements to change rapidly.[15]

On June 13, 2005, further observations by a team led by Rivera revealed a third planet, designated Gliese 876 d inside the orbits of the two Jupiter-size planets.[16]

In January 2009, the mutual inclination between planets b and c was determined using a combination of radial velocity and astrometric measurements. The planets were found to be almost coplanar, with an angle of only 5.0+3.9
° between their orbital planes.[17]

On June 23, 2010, astronomers announced a fourth planet, designated Gliese 876 e. This discovery better constrained the mass and orbital properties of the other three planets, including the high eccentricity of the innermost planet.[18] This also filled out the system inside e's orbit; additional planets there would be unstable at this system's age.[19]

In 2014, evidence of the presence of newly Gliese 876 f and Gliese 876 g was discovered. These planets have been having almost the same mass as Gliese 876d.[20]

If this system has a comet disc, it is undetectable "brighter than the fractional dust luminosity 10−5" of a recent Herschel study.[21]

None of these planets transit the star from the perspective of Earth, making it difficult to study their properties.[22]

Orbital arrangement[edit]

The orbits of the planets of Gliese 876. Note that the strong gravitational interactions between the planets causes rapid orbital precession, so this diagram is only valid at the stated epoch.

Gliese 876 has a notable orbital arrangement. It is the first planetary system around a normal star to have mutual inclination between planets measured without transits (previously the mutual inclination of the planets orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12 had been determined by measuring their gravitational interactions[23]). Later measurements reduced the value of the mutual inclination,[3] and in the latest four-planet models the incorporation mutual inclinations does not result in significant improvements relative to coplanar solutions.[18]

The system has the second known example of a Laplace resonance with a 1:2:4 resonance of its planets. The first known example was Jupiter's closest Galilean moons - Ganymede, Europa and Io. Numerical integration indicates that the coplanar, four-planet system is stable for at least another billion years. This planetary system comes close to a triple conjunction between the three outer planets once per orbit of the outermost planet.[18]


The outermost three of the known planets likely formed further away from the star, and migrated inward.[19]

The Gliese 876 planetary system[18][note 3][24][25]
(in order from star)
Mass Semimajor axis
Orbital period
Eccentricity Inclination Radius
d 6.83 ± 0.4 M 0.02080665 1.937780 0.207 ± 0.055
f (unconfirmed) 0.025 ± 0.001 MJ 10.01 ± 0.02 0.09 ± 0.046
g (unconfirmed) 0.118 ± 0.002 MJ 15.04 ± 0.04 0.007 ± 0.004
c 0.7142 ± 0.004 MJ 0.129590 ± 0.000024 30.0081 ± 0.008 0.25591 ± 0.0009
b 2.2756 ± 0.0045 MJ 0.208317 ± 0.00002 61.1166 ± 0.0086 0.0324 ± 0.0013
e 14.6 ± 1.7 M 0.3343 ± 0.0013 124.26 ± 0.70 0.055 ± 0.012
Gliese 876 d
Main article: Gliese 876 d
An artist's impression of Gliese 876 d, depicting the planet as a hot, volcanically active world that is illuminated by red light from the star

Gliese 876d, discovered in 2005, is the innermost known planet. With an estimated minimum mass only 5.88 times that of the Earth, it is possible that it is a dense terrestrial planet.

Gliese 876 c
Main article: Gliese 876 c
An artist's impression of Gliese 876 c depicting it as a Saturn-like gas giant with hypothetical rings.

Gliese 876 c, discovered in 2001, is a giant planet at 0.62 Jupiter-mass planet. It is in a 1:2 orbital resonance with the outermost known planet, taking 30.340 days to orbit the star. The planet orbits within the habitable zone. Its mass makes it more likely to be a Class II planet in the Sudarsky extrasolar planet classification. The presence of surface liquid water is possible on sufficiently massive satellites should they exist.

Gliese 876 b
Main article: Gliese 876 b
An artist's impression of Gliese 876 b as an enormous Jupiter like ball of gas with a system of natural satellites

Gliese 876 b, discovered in 1998 is around twice the mass of Jupiter and revolves around its star in an orbit taking approximately 61 days to complete, at a distance of only 0.208 AU, less than the distance from the Sun to Mercury.[26] Its mass makes it more likely to be a Class II or Class III planet in the Sudarsky model. The presence of surface liquid water is possible on sufficiently massive satellites should they exist.

Gliese 876 e
Main article: Gliese 876 e
An artist's impression of Gliese 876 e.

Gliese 876 e, discovered in 2010, has a mass similar to that of the planet Uranus and its orbit takes 124 days to complete.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parallax value from Abstract, Table 4 and Section 4.
  2. ^ Taking the absolute magnitude of Gliese 876 and the absolute magnitude of the Sun , the visual luminosity of Gliese 876 can be calculated from
  3. ^ Uncertainties in the planetary masses and semimajor axes do not take into account the uncertainty in the mass of the star.


  1. ^ a b c d e f van Leeuwen, F. (2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 474 (2): 653–664. arXiv:0708.1752Freely accessible. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357. Vizier catalog entry
  2. ^ Benedict, G. F; McArthur, B. E.; Forveille, T.; Delfosse, X.; Nelan, E.; Butler, R. P.; Spiesman, W.; Marcy, G.; Goldman, B.; Perrier, C.; Jefferys, W. H.; Mayor, M. (2002). "A Mass for the Extrasolar Planet Gliese 876b Determined from Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor 3 Astrometry and High-Precision Radial Velocities". The Astrophysical Journal. 581 (2): L115–L118. arXiv:astro-ph/0212101Freely accessible. Bibcode:2002ApJ...581L.115B. doi:10.1086/346073. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Correia, A. C. M.; et al. (February 2010). "The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XIX. Characterization and dynamics of the GJ 876 planetary system". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 511: A21. arXiv:1001.4774Freely accessible. Bibcode:2010A&A...511A..21C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200912700. 
  4. ^ a b Bean, Jacob L.; Benedict, G. Fritz; Endl, Michael (December 2006). "Metallicities of M Dwarf Planet Hosts from Spectral Synthesis". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 653 (1): L65–L68. arXiv:astro-ph/0611060Freely accessible. Bibcode:2006ApJ...653L..65B. doi:10.1086/510527. 
  5. ^ a b Rojas-Ayala, Bárbara; et al. (April 2012). "Metallicity and Temperature Indicators in M Dwarf K-band Spectra: Testing New and Updated Calibrations with Observations of 133 Solar Neighborhood M Dwarfs". The Astrophysical Journal. 748 (2): 93. arXiv:1112.4567Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012ApJ...748...93R. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/748/2/93. 
  6. ^ a b Saffe, C.; Gómez, M.; Chavero, C. (November 2005). "On the Ages of Exoplanet Host Stars". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 443 (2): 609–626. arXiv:astro-ph/0510092Freely accessible. Bibcode:2005A&A...443..609S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053452. 
  7. ^ a b Marcy, Geoffrey W.; et al. (October 1998). "A Planetary Companion to a Nearby M4 Dwarf, Gliese 876". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 505 (2): L147–L149. arXiv:astro-ph/9807307Freely accessible. Bibcode:1998ApJ...505L.147M. doi:10.1086/311623. 
  8. ^ Johnson, H. M.; Wright, C. D. (November 1983). "Predicted infrared brightness of stars within 25 parsecs of the sun". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 53: 643–711. Bibcode:1983ApJS...53..643J. doi:10.1086/190905. 
  9. ^ Samus; et al. (2007–2010). "IL Aqr". Combined General Catalogue of Variable Stars. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  10. ^ Bopp, B.; Evans, D. (1973). "The spotted flare stars BY Dra, CC Eri: a model for the spots, some astrophysical implications". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 164: 343–356. Bibcode:1973MNRAS.164..343B. doi:10.1093/mnras/164.4.343. 
  11. ^ Schmitt, Jürgen H. M. M.; Fleming, Thomas A.; Giampapa, Mark S. (September 1995). "The X-ray view of the low-mass stars in the solar neighborhood". The Astrophysical Journal. 450: 392–400. Bibcode:1995ApJ...450..392S. doi:10.1086/176149. 
  12. ^ Delfosse, X.; et al. (October 1998). "The closest extrasolar planet. A giant planet around the M4 dwarf GL 876". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 338: L67–L70. arXiv:astro-ph/9808026Freely accessible. Bibcode:1998A&A...338L..67D. 
  13. ^ Jones, Barrie W.; Underwood, David R.; Sleep, P. Nick (April 2005). "Prospects for Habitable "Earths" in Known Exoplanetary Systems". The Astrophysical Journal. 622 (2): 1091–1101. arXiv:astro-ph/0503178Freely accessible. Bibcode:2005ApJ...622.1091J. doi:10.1086/428108. 
  14. ^ Marcy, Geoffrey W.; et al. (July 2001). "A Pair of Resonant Planets Orbiting GJ 876". The Astrophysical Journal. 556 (1): 296–301. Bibcode:2001ApJ...556..296M. doi:10.1086/321552. 
  15. ^ Rivera, Eugenio J.; Lissauer, Jack J. (September 2001). "Dynamical Models of the Resonant Pair of Planets Orbiting the Star GJ 876". The Astrophysical Journal. 558 (1): 392–402. Bibcode:2001ApJ...558..392R. doi:10.1086/322477. 
  16. ^ Rivera, Eugenio J.; et al. (November 2005). "A ~7.5 M Planet Orbiting the Nearby Star, GJ 876". The Astrophysical Journal. 634 (1): 625–640. arXiv:astro-ph/0510508Freely accessible. Bibcode:2005ApJ...634..625R. doi:10.1086/491669. 
  17. ^ Bean, J. L.; Seifahrt, Andreas (March 2009). "The architecture of the GJ876 planetary system. Masses and orbital coplanarity for planets b and c". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 496 (1): 249–257. arXiv:0901.3144Freely accessible. Bibcode:2009A&A...496..249B. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200811280. 
  18. ^ a b c d Rivera, Eugenio J.; et al. (July 2010). "The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A Uranus-mass Fourth Planet for GJ 876 in an Extrasolar Laplace Configuration". The Astrophysical Journal. 719 (1): 890–899. arXiv:1006.4244Freely accessible. Bibcode:2010ApJ...719..890R. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/719/1/890. 
  19. ^ a b Gerlach, Enrico; Haghighipour, Nader (2012). "Can GJ 876 host four planets in resonance?". Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. 113: 35–47. arXiv:1202.5865Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012CeMDA.113...35G. doi:10.1007/s10569-012-9408-0. 
  20. ^ J. S. Jenkins; et al. (April 2014). "Improved signal detection algorithms for unevenly sampled data. Six signals in the radial velocity data for GJ876". arXiv:1403.7676Freely accessible [astro-ph.EP]. 
  21. ^ B. C. Matthews; forthcoming study promised in J.-F. Lestrade; et al. (2012). "A DEBRIS Disk Around The Planet Hosting M-star GJ581 Spatially Resolved with Herschel". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 548: A86. arXiv:1211.4898Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012A&A...548A..86L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201220325. 
  22. ^ As of 2006: Shankland, PD; et al. (2006). "On the search for transits of the planets orbiting Gliese 876" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 653: 700–707. arXiv:astro-ph/0608489Freely accessible. Bibcode:2006ApJ...653..700S. doi:10.1086/508562. . No transit has been found as of 2012, either; so they are unlikely.
  23. ^ Konacki, Maciej; Wolszczan, Alex (July 2003). "Masses and Orbital Inclinations of Planets in the PSR B1257+12 System". The Astrophysical Journal. 591 (2): L147–L150. arXiv:astro-ph/0305536Freely accessible. Bibcode:2003ApJ...591L.147K. doi:10.1086/377093. 
  24. ^ Planet GJ 876 f
  25. ^ Planet GJ 876 g
  26. ^ Butler, R. P.; et al. (December 2006). "Catalog of Nearby Exoplanets". The Astrophysical Journal. 646 (1): 505–522. arXiv:astro-ph/0607493Freely accessible. Bibcode:2006ApJ...646..505B. doi:10.1086/504701. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 22h 53m 16.7s, −14° 15′ 49″