Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, a few years ago the UNIGE astronomers discovered a warm Neptune-sized planet which was losing its atmosphere. The two planets are roughly 2.3 million miles ( 3.7 million km ) from their star-one-tenth the distance between Mercury and the Sun, but the star hosting GJ 3470b is much younger and energetic. The reason that the researchers can not be sure of the exact size of each planet is that they can not know how far the planets are from Earth.
This hinders scientists from observing nearby stars no greater than 150 light-years away from Earth. The new observation supports the theory that most have lost their atmospheres and turned into smaller planets called “Super Earths”, which are much more numerous.
The exoplanet is a gas giant, several times more massive than Jupiter. While these structures may be carved by planets, previous research has suggested that they may also be created by other effects. The researchers found that stars around the same temperature as our sun emitted enough light for the building blocks of life to have formed on the surfaces of their planets.
This planet might be the first time we detect oxygen on a rocky planet outside the solar system, said co-author Robin Wordsworth ( Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ).
The results of the study are published in the journal Nature. TG387 and 2012 VP113 have never been close enough to other giant planets like Jupiter and Neptune, to have any kind of gravitational interactions. Note also that it is just an isolated planet. Infrared light is an indicator of heat energy. Known as Ross 128b, the newly discovered planet orbits a life-friendly red dwarf star that is an estimated seven billion years old. What this means is these planets are likely to have an atmosphere and possibly support life. Scientists say they may have found the first moon outside our solar system.
The researchers studied 284 planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Only one planet, Kepler-1625b, held promise of a possible moon. This star has gained a level of fame after astronomers detected at least one small Earth-like planet, currently designated Proxima Centauri b. The body is situated over 100 times farther than the Sun is from our planet. Among these discoveries is the dwarf planet 2015 RR245, which is about half the size of Britain. Just six light-years away, Barnard’s star moves in Earth’s night sky faster than any other star.
Now, an international team led by researchers from the Spanish National Research Council ( CSIC ) has found a cold Super-Earth orbiting around the Barnard´s star, the second closest star system to Earth.
Many of our galaxy’s habitable planets probably have a chemical composition that is quite different from Earth’s. Until recently, it was difficult to obtain detailed chemical abundances for this kind of star, said lead author Souto, who developed a technique to make these measurements last year. These little icy worlds are important as they help us tell the solar system’s history.
Fortunately, the celestial bodies in our own planetary system are comparatively close by, making it the only place where we can see the intricate details of how migration happened. In the Kuiper belt, we found 436 small worlds. The NASA study, published on July 24, 2017, in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, suggests Earth’s atmosphere wouldn’t survive in close proximity to the violent red dwarf. Since it was launched in 2009, NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope has found evidence of dozens of possible Earth-sized planets.
Among the known exoplanets which reside in the abiogenesis zone are several planets detected by the Kepler telescope, including Kepler 452b, a planet that has been nicknamed Earth’s ‘cousin’, although it is too far away to probe with current technology. One discovered a few weeks ago is also a topic of conversation. However, we now know that star might not be suitable for life.
Scientists have yet to precisely nail down exactly how our primitive ancestors first showed up on Earth. At its closest it would be at least three times the distance to Neptune, or probably further than that from Earth. In particle physics, where the experiments generate huge amounts of data, 3 sigma results are common and are often just clusters, patterns in the noise. Used to be thought that there could be a star Nemesis in a 26 million year orbit 1.5 light years from Earth. But the chance of that is probably low. What they found were 12 new moons orbiting the planet. Astronomers are closing in on the first galaxies that formed in the universe. Similarly, smaller, compact planets can survive because they are rocky and denser. The planet lies in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.
But many of the worlds we ‘ve found are too large to be rocky, and are found orbiting red dwarf stars, making them quite unlike Earth is. The radial velocity ( or stellar wobble ) method for finding exoplanets relies on measuring the motion of the parent star, as caused by the gravitational influence of its orbiting planets. Stars come in a wide variety of sizes, masses and temperatures. This makes sense with the limits of our instruments; these systems have larger planet-to-star size ratios than our Earth does with respect to the Sun. Kepler has found thousands of planets around stars in the Milky Way, teaching us about the mass, radius, and distribution of worlds beyond our Solar System. It showed us rocky worlds the size of Earth that, like Earth, might harbor life. It has 50,000 times more solar flare activity than our sun, and it’s 500 times more active in x-ray emissions.
The researchers have identified a range of planets where the UV light from their host star is sufficient to allow these chemical reactions to take place, and that lie within the habitable range where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface. “This work allows us to narrow down the best places to search for life” , said Dr Paul Rimmer, a postdoctoral researcher with a joint affiliation at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and the MRC LMB, and the paper’s first author.
“It brings us just a little bit closer to addressing the question of whether we are alone in the universe”.
Next-generation telescopes, such as NASA’s TESS and James Webb Telescopes, will hopefully be able to identify and potentially characterise many more planets that lie within the abiogenesis zone, researchers said. NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered its first Earth-size planet candidates and its first candidates in the habitable zone, a region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Jupiter’s moons are arranged in a specific pattern that the giant planet has worked out over time. According to the findings, Neptune-sized gas planets or so-called super-Earths-terrestrial planets of up to 20 Earth masses – should be the most common.
Astronomers have long known that at the largest scale, the universe looks like sea-foam: clusters of galaxies surrounding large, empty bubbles. That’s because the red planet will be at its closest point to Earth since 2003 throughout June and July, as our planet passes between Mars and the sun. The closest approach on Tuesday will make Mars brightest since 2003. Even with the new discovery, Pluto remains mysterious planet, because no spacecraft has yet flown past it.
So for the first time ever, we have observed a jet from a neutron star with a strong magnetic field. Jupiter is made of hydrogen, helium, methane and ammonia.
A team of astronomers has detected the sonic boom from an immensely powerful cosmic explosion, even though the explosion itself was totally unseen.
Image Credit: NASA PhotoID: S125-E-011848