A venus-mass planet orbiting a brown dwarf: A missing link between planets and moons

A. Udalski, Y. K. Jung, C. Han, A. Gould, S. Kozłowski, J. Skowron, R. Poleski, I. Soszyński, P. Pietrukowicz, P. Mróz, M. K. Szymański, Wyrzykowski, K. Ulaczyk, G. Pietrzyński, Y. Shvartzvald, D. Maoz, S. Kaspi, B. S. Gaudi, K. H. Hwang, J. Y. ChoiI. G. Shin, H. Park, V. Bozza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The co-planarity of solar system planets led Kant to suggest that they formed from an accretion disk, and the discovery of hundreds of such disks around young stars as well as hundreds of co-planar planetary systems by the Kepler satellite demonstrate that this formation mechanism is extremely widespread. Many moons in the solar system, such as the Galilean moons of Jupiter, also formed out of the accretion disks that coalesced into the giant planets. Here we report the discovery of an intermediate system, OGLE-2013-BLG-0723LB/Bb, composed of a Venus-mass planet orbiting a brown dwarf, which may be viewed either as a scaled-down version of a planet plus a star or as a scaled-up version of a moon plus a planet orbiting a star. The latter analogy can be further extended since they orbit in the potential of a larger, stellar body. For ice-rock companions formed in the outer parts of accretion disks, like Uranus and Callisto, the scaled masses and separations of the three types of systems are similar, leading us to suggest that the formation processes of companions within accretion disks around stars, brown dwarfs, and planets are similar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2015


  • brown dwarfs
  • gravitational lensing: micro
  • planetary systems

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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