Using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, a group of astronomers discovered the location of a nearby star L98-59planetary systemLike the planets of the solar system.
Among these discoveries is a planet with half the mass of Venus, the lightest ever detected by the radial velocity technique.exoplanet. This planet is an ocean world that can carry life.
Maria Rosa Zapatero Osorio, an astronomer at the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid, Spain, and one of the study’s authors, said in a statement:long lifePlanets in this region may have an atmosphere that could protect and support life. “
These new discoveries are a milestone in our search for life on Earth-sized planets outside the Solar System.
The smallest planet in this planetary system represents a technological breakthrough. The team used the radial velocity method to determine that the innermost planet in the system has only half the mass of Venus. This method measures the small gravitational pull of planets orbiting the host star.
Based on the magnitude of the star’s motion, astronomers can estimate the mass of the exoplanet. Then by looking at the mass and size of the exoplanet, they can calculate its density, which determines the composition of the planet: the denser may be rock, and the alcoholic may be gaseous.
“If we want to know what a planet is made of, we need to know at least its mass and radius,” said Olivier Demangen, a researcher at the Institute of Astronomical Sciences at the University of Porto in Portugal and lead author of the paper. It is clarified in the above statement that, however, the above measurements are difficult to obtain. The team used the Rocky Exoplanet Step Spectrometer and the Stable Spectral Observation (Espresso) instrument on the Very Large Telescope.
“Without the accuracy and consistency provided by espresso, this measurement would be impossible,” Osorio said in the above statement. “This is a step forward in our ability to measure the mass of the smallest planet outside the Solar System.”
Currently, ascertaining the biological characteristics of exoplanets relies on the study of the atmosphere. Unfortunately, current telescopes are not sufficient to achieve the resolution required for asteroids. This newly studied planetary system is an important target for future observations of exoplanet environments.
Based on the data analysis, the team concluded that three of the system’s planets may contain water: the two planets closest to the central star may contain small amounts of water, and the third planet may contain 30% of the mass of the water.
Interestingly, there are exoplanets that have not been discovered before lurking in this planetary system. The research team discovered a fourth planet, and even suspected that there is a fifth, which is at the right distance from the host star and has liquid water on its surface.
“We have indications that there is an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone of this system,” Damon Jean explained in the above statement.
If confirmed, the fifth exoplanet could have a mass 2.46 times the mass of Earth, with an orbital period of about 23 days. Although it is very close to the host star, because L98-59 is a red dwarf star and much cooler than the Sun, this distance is too suitable to have a temperature similar to Earth’s to support life.
“This system tells what’s about to happen.” Damon Jean added to the above statement, “We as a collective, since the birth of astronomy, we’ve been chasing the terrestrial planets, and now we’re finally getting closer and closer to a habitable star.” A terrestrial planet is found in the region, and we can study its atmosphere.”
This new research is published in the upcoming “Astronomy and Astrophysics” journal.
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