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The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets - XVIII. An Earth-mass planet in the GJ 581 planetary system

Abstract : The GJ 581 planetary system is already known to harbour three planets, including two super-Earth planets that straddle its habitable zone. We report the detection of an additional planet - GJ 581e - with a minimum mass of 1.9 $M_\oplus$. With a period of 3.15 days, it is the innermost planet of the system and has a ~5% transit probability.
We also correct our previous confusion about the orbital period of GJ 581d (the outermost planet) with a one-year alias, benefitting from an extended time span and many more measurements. The revised period is 66.8 days, and positions the semi-major axis inside the habitable zone of the low mass star.
The dynamical stability of the 4-planet system imposes an upper bound on the orbital plane inclination. The planets cannot be more massive than approximately 1.6 times their minimum mass.
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Michel Mayor, X. Bonfils, T. Forveille, X. Delfosse, Stephane Udry, et al.. The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets - XVIII. An Earth-mass planet in the GJ 581 planetary system. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2009, 507, pp.487-494. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/200912172⟩. ⟨hal-00431876⟩

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