"Artist impression of the exoplanet 51 Pegasi b" by ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org) / CC BY 4.0

Astronomers Discover ‘Pi Earth’ Exoplanet Orbits Its Star Once Every 3.14 Days

Sep 22, 2020

By Michelle Starr

Every exoplanet is special in its own way, but a newly discovered exoplanet 186 light-years away is an especially delicious treat. It’s a smallish world around the same size as Earth, whipping around its star on an orbit that takes just 3.14 days.

That’s extremely close to the mathematical constant π (Pi), the number that describes the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. So, even though the exoplanet’s official name is K2-315b, its discoverers have nicknamed it “π Earth.”

The discovery of the star has been several years in the baking. The first hints of its existence emerged back in 2017, when the Kepler Space Telescope (RIP) was conducting its second, extended mission.

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