Planetary Companions, Barnard’s Star
(a) Introduction. A conventional observational distinction between stars and planets is the upper limit of 0.001ℳ⊙ for the most massive known planet, Jupiter, in our solar system and the lower limit 0.06ℳ⊙ for the mass of a bona fide star, e.g. Ross 614 B. While there are indications for the existence of objects of intermediate mass (Chapter 14), the potential discovery of as yet unseen planets orbiting stars other than the Sun remains of prime interest. At present it is not possible to ‘see’ a planet as large as Jupiter and shining by reflected light, even for the nearest star Alpha Centauri, though new techniques, beyond the conventional visual, may yield results in the not too distant future.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.