Science

New Planets Discovered Near Solar System

New Planets Discovered Near Solar System”

Previously, the radius gap between planets and their host star in a solar-type system was reported, however, it was just not that scientists were able to comprehend a similar radius gap between planets and its host star in a red dwarf system which is because of lack of giant planets located in this system.

Common, relatively cool and potentially life-supporting, red dwarf stars are of particular interest to astronomers hunting down distant worlds.

A key outcome from the current studies was that planets orbiting red dwarfs may have remarkably similar characteristics to planets orbiting solar-type stars.

Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech) have announced the discovery of 15 new exoplanets near the Solar System.

Of those three "super-Earths", the outermost planet, K2-155d, with a radius 1.6 times that of Earth, could be within the host star's habitable zone, the researchers noted in the study appeared in The Astronomical Journal.

The researchers reckon the super-Earth furthest away from star, known as K2-155d, might lie in the so-called "Goldilocks" habitable zone where liquid water could form on its surface because the temperature is neither too hot or too cold.

"It's important to note that the number of planets around red dwarfs is much smaller than the number around solar-type stars", Hirano said. He added that the red dwarf systems are presently one of the main subjects of investigation and it will be an exciting prospect for future research to find more exoplanets that can sustain life. The researchers will need a more precise estimate of the radius and temperature of K2-155, likely using interferometric techniques, to conclude definitively whether K2-155d is habitable. "The few planets with a radius about three times that of Earth were found orbiting the most metal-rich red dwarfs". The team studied data gathered by K2, the second phase of the planet-hunting Kepler mission, before following up with observations by the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii and the Nordic Optical Telescope in Spain.

"In our simulations, the atmosphere and the composition of the planet were assumed to be Earth-like, and there's no guarantee that this is the case", Hirano said. "This is a unique finding, and many theoretical astronomers are now investigating what causes this gap", says Hirano.

Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research and Lincoln Laboratory, the TESS cameras will use their wide field of view to monitor more than 200,000 stars for transits. "Large planets are only discovered around metal-rich stars", Hirano says, "and what we found was consistent with our predictions".

NASA is also launching its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a two year mission to scout out exoplanets around the brightest stars close to Earth.

TESS will use four wide-field cameras to scan almost the entire sky, monitoring the nearest and brightest stars for temporary dips in the light they emit that may indicate a planet passing in front - an event known as a transit. "This will greatly facilitate tracking observations, including the study of planetary atmospheres and determination of the precise orbit of planets".



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