These new Earth-sized planets orbit a dwarf star called Trappist-1 about 40 light years from Earth. Some of them could keep water on their surfaces. Crediteredit [NASA]
Not just one, but seven Earth-sized planets that could disturb life, orbiting a small star, not far away, the first realistic opportunity to discover signs of extraterrestrial life outside the solar system while providing.
The planets orbit about 40 light years or 235 billion miles from Earth, called the dwarf star called Trappist-1. It is quite close in cosmic terms, and by happy accident, the orientation of the seven planetary orbits allows them to study in great detail.
In this new system, one or more exoplanets may be at the right temperature to wake up in the water oceans, astronomers said, depending on the distance of the planets to the dwarf star.
“This is the first time that many of these planets have been found around a single star,” said Michael Gillon, an astronomer at the University of Liège, Belgium and leader of an international team observing Trappist-1. . News conference call organized by Nature magazine, which published the findings on Wednesday.
“I think we have taken an important step to discover if there is life there,” Amauri H.W. M. J. Said an astronomer from the University of Cambridge, Triad, England, and another member of the research team. “Here, if life were able to release and release gases corresponding to those on Earth, we would know.”
Cold red dwarfs are the most common type of star, so astronomers are likely to have more planetary systems around Trappist-1 in the coming years.
“You can imagine how much the world has to become a habitable ecosystem,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the NASA Scientific Mission Directorate, during a NASA press conference. “We’re alone?” We are taking a step forward with this, a leap forward, really, towards the answer to that question. “
Now the ground telescope and the Hubble space telescope in orbit will be able to detect certain molecules in the planet’s atmosphere. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch next year, will look at the wavelength of infrared light, which is ideal for studying TRAPPIST-1.
A comparison will also appear between the seven different conditions.
“The Trappist-1 planets seek sedentary life in the Milky Way, which was not a member of the research team,” said Sara Seager, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “For the first time, we don’t have to guess. We just have to wait and then watch very carefully and see what’s in the atmosphere of the Trappist planets.”
Even if all the planets are lifeless, scientists have learned more about what happens when life flourishes.
Astronomers always knew that other stars must have planets, but until a few decades ago, they could not detect them. According to the Open Exoplanet catalog, they have now confirmed more than 3,400. (An exoplanet Catalog is the planet around a star that is not the Sun).
The authors of Nature’s article include Didier Queloz, one of the astronomers who discovered the first known exoplanet around the Sun star in 1995.
While the Trappist planets are about the size of the Earth, about 25 percent in diameter, the star is very different from our sun.
Trappist-1, named for a robotic telescope in the Atacama desert of Chile, which astronomers initially used to study the star, is that astronomers consider the mass of the sun and the temperature of the mass as one.
With the twelfth part called “ultrafresque dwarf”. 4,150 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 10,000 degrees colder than the sun. There is a shortage of Trappist planets in transit and small PlanetSimals telescopes.
During the NASA press conference, Drs. Gillan gave a simple analogy: if our Sun were the size of a basketball, Trappist-1 would have been a golf ball.
In recent years, scientists seeking life in other parts of the galaxy have focused on finding planets the size of the Earth around stars like the Sun. But it is difficult to eliminate the light of a planet from the glow of the bright star. Small dwarfs are very easy to study.
Trappist-1 pointed out from time to time, indicating that a planet may be passing in front of the star, blocking part of the light. From the size of the dives, astronomers calculate the size of the planet.
The light of the Trapist-1 went down so often that astronomers concluded, last year, that research reported there were at least three planets around the star. Telescopes around the world observed TRAPPIST-1, as did NASA’s Spitzer space telescope.
Spitzer watched TRAPPIST-1 for approximately 20 days, capturing 34 entries. With terrestrial observations, he allowed scientists to count seven, not three planets. The planets are too small and too close to be photographed directly.
The seven dwarfs are very close to the star, orbiting faster than the planets of our solar system. The innermost one completes a class in just 1.5 days. The furthest person completes a ring road in about 20 days. This makes the planet system more like the moons of Jupiter than a large planetary system like our solar system.
“They make a very compact system,” Dr. “The planets are approaching each other and very close to the star,” Gillon said.
In addition, the orbital period of the six interiors suggests that the planets formed farther from the star and then all were slowly dragged in, Drs. Gillon said.
Since the planets are so close to a cold star, their surface may be at the right temperature for water to flow, which is considered one of the essential ingredients for life.
Fourth, the fifth and sixth planets revolve around the “habitable zone” of the stars, where the planets can play the oceans. So far, this is only speculation, but by measuring how the wavelength of the planet’s light is blocked, scientists will be able to discover what gases float in the seven planetary atmospheres.
So far, it has confirmed for the two innermost planets that are not wrapped in hydrogen. This means that they are rocky like Earth, ruling out the possibility that they were mini-Neptune gas planets that prevail around many other stars.
Because the planets are so close to Trappist-1, they are always “gravitationally locked” toward the star, always facing the star with one side of the planet, it would always be the side of the Earth like Earth. It is. This would mean that one side would be hot, but an atmosphere would distribute heat, and scientists said that would not be an insurmountable obstacle to life.
For a person standing on a planet, it would be a dark environment, perhaps only about one hundredth of the light we see from the sun on Earth, Drs. The triad said. (It will still be brighter than the moon at night). The star will be much bigger. On the fifth planet Trappist-1F, this star will be three times wider than the sun seen from Earth.
As for the color of the star, “We had a debate about that,” Dr. La tríada said.
Some scientists expected a dark red color, but with most of the starlight emitted in the infrared wavelength and out of the human eye, perhaps a person “would see something more salmon,” Dr. The triad said.
If the observation reveals oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere, that may indicate photosynthesis of the plant, although not conclusively. But oxygen with methane, ozone and carbon dioxide, especially in defined proportions, “will tell us that there is life with 99 percent confidence,” said Dr. Gillon.
Astronomers expect some decades of technological development to be needed before similar observations are made of the Earth’s planets around large bright, sun-like stars.
Dr. Triad said that if there is life around Trappist-1, “then it is good that we have not expected too much.”
“If there isn’t, then we have learned some depth from where life can arise,” he continued.
The discovery may also mean that scientists looking for radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations will also search in the wrong places if most habitable planets are dwarfs, which last longer than larger stars like the Sun. They are.
The SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, is using the Allen Telescope Array, a group of 42 radio antennas in California, to examine 20,000 red dwarfs. “This result is a kind of justification for that project,” said Seth Shostak, an institute astronomer.
“If you are looking for complex biology, intelligent aliens that can take a long time to develop from the scum of the pond, the elders can improve,” said Dr. Shostak. “It seems like a good bet that most of the cunning beings that populate the universe see a faint red sun that hangs over their sky.” And at least they won’t have to worry about sunscreen. “
Astronomers discover three compact planetary systems
Astronomers discovered three compact planetary systems: the dispersed astronomers of the Planetary Matter Project (DMPP) discovered three new planetary systems: DMPP-1, 2 and 3, which houses six short-lived exopolites. These planets are very close to their parent stars and have a surface temperature.
“These new discoveries are very promising for future studies,” said Professor Carroll Havell, head of astronomy at the Open University and the principal investigator of the DMPP project. We must allow the relationship between mass, size and composition of planets outside our solar system to be measured.
Also known as HD 38677, it maintains a compact planetary system with an orbital period of 2.9-19 days, comprising four large planets: DMPP-1B, C, D and E. DMPP-1C, D and E are super-terrestrial planets with a mass between 3 and 10 of the Earth. DMPP-1B is a planet similar to Neptune that has about 24 Earth masses.
DMPP-1 houses a truly important planet with three low mass exoplanets, whose structure we can measure, said Rutherford Appellate Laboratory, an astronomer at the Open University School of Physics.
DMPP-2, also known as HD 11231, is a type of F5V star from 2 billion years to about 452 light years from Earth. Its only known planet, DMPP-2B, is a massive planet in near orbit, about half of Jupiter in a 5.2-day orbit. The DMPP-3, also known as HD 42936, is a binary stellar system of 6 billion years at a distance of approximately 153 light years.
The primary star in the binary system, DMPP-3A, is a K0V type star that rotates slowly. It is a super-Earth planet, DMPP-3Ab, and a star companion, DMPP-3B, in 6.7-day orbit. “DMPP-3B has a minimum mass at the boundary between brown dwarfs and low mass stars, and is probably dwarf with stable hydrogen combustion. It is in the orbit of 507 days, “the astronomers explained. [Click -> WordPress or Blog]
“DMPP-3 was a big surprise, we were looking for a small signal that indicated a planet in orbit around a low mass, but the first thing we found was due to a large signal we did not expect,” Dr. Said John Barnes, a free university researcher. The astronomers used ESO’s high-precision radial velocity plane (HARPS) finder to observe these planetary systems.
They discovered that the temperature of the planet’s surface is between 1,100 and 1,800 C. At these temperatures, the rocky surface of the planet and even the rocky surface can be lost, and part of this material forms thin layers of gas, he said. This shroud filters the star’s light, providing clues that allow the team to discard small star trails with these unusual and very hot planets.
With more studies, you can measure the chemical composition of the roof, which reveals the type of rock on the surface of the hot planet.” “Now we can see how planets are formed in general, and if our own planets are specific,” said Professor Haswell.
For example, we still do not know if it is a coincidence that in the solar system, Earth and Venus are the largest rock objects and that the largest fraction of their mass is composed of iron.
Astronomers discovered three compact planetary systems and the Planetary Matter Project (DMPP) dispersed astronomers discovered three new planetary systems: DMPP-1, 2 and 3, with six short-lived exopartets.
These planets are very close to their parent stars and have a surface temperature between 1,100 and 1,800 ° C (2,012-3,272 ° F). These new discoveries are very promising for future studies, “said Professor Carroll Havell, head of astronomy at the Open Carroll University and the principal investigator of the DMPP project, which allows us to add the mass, size and structure of planets outside of our solar.
The system, can be measured, can be measured DMPP-1 is a type of F8V star, 2,000 million years old, which is about 204 light years located Eur, also known as HD 38677, for example, maintains a Compact planetary system with an orbital period of 2.9-19 days, consisting of four large planets: DMPP-1B, C, D and E. DMPP-1C, D and E are 3 more than Earth.
There are super-terrestrial planets with a mass between 10. DMPP-1B is a planet similar to Neptune that has approximately 24 Earth masses. DMPP-1 is a truly important planet with three alphabet of low mass exoplanets, whose structure is Dr. Astronomist and Rutherford Appeal Laboratory is in the Faculty of Physics, “The Open University can measure.
Daniel Stob said. DMPP-2, also known as HD 11231, is an F5V type star of 2 billion years about 452 light years from Earth. Its only known planet, the DMPP-2B, is a massive planet, located in approximately half of Jupiter in a 5.2-day orbit. The DMPP-3, also known as HD 42936, is a binary stellar system of 6 billion years at a distance of approximately 153 light years.
The primary star in the binary system, DMPP-3A, is a K0V type star that rotates slowly. It is a 6.7-day super-orbiting planet, DMPP-3Ab, and a star companion, DMPP-3B. DMPP-3B has a minimum mass at the boundary between brown dwarfs and low mass stars, and is probably dwarf with stable hydrogen combustion.
It is in an orbit of 507 days, “the astronomers explained. DMPP-3 was a big surprise, we were looking for a small signal that indicated a low mass in orbit around a planet in orbit, but the first thing is What we got was a large signal that we did not expect. ” Dr. John said Barnes, a researcher at the Open University.
The astronomers used ESO’s high-speed radial plane finder (HARPS) to observe these planetary systems. It was discovered that the surface temperature of the planet was between 1,100 and 1,800 °. At these temperatures, the atmosphere and even the rocky surface of the planet can be lost, and part of this material forms a thin layer of gas. “He said.
This cover produces wire light, providing clues that allow the team to exclude small star trails with these unusual and very hot stars. With more studies, the chemical structure of the roof can be measured, which shows the type of rock. The surface of the hot planet. Now we can see how planets form in general, and if our own planets are specific, “PROF said Haser Haswell.
For example, we still do not know that it is a coincidence that Earth and Venus are the highest in the solar system. Large rocks are objects and the largest fraction of their mass is made of iron.