Tech UPTechnology104 new planets confirmed

104 new planets confirmed

Although NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting mission has technically ended because it ran out of fuel, its data still helps astronomers find a host of new worlds.

Thus, using statistics from ESA’s Gaia mission and Kepler’s K2 mission, an extension of Kepler’s original planet-hunting mission, two recent studies have confirmed the existence of a total of 104 new exoplanets. Its features are spread far and wide, including multi-planet systems, rocky terrestrial worlds, and planets that orbit dangerously close to their host stars.

These newly discovered bodies can be used to understand how different types of planets form, and also to give next-generation telescopes promising worlds to investigate. The findings have been published in The Astronomical Journal.

This new batch of exoplanets was discovered in two consecutive waves . In August, researchers at the University of Tokyo announced the confirmation of 44 new exoplanets by combining data from K2 and Gaia. Before Kepler retired at the end of October, the space telescope conducted short observing campaigns and looked for the faint dimming that occurs when a planet orbits its host star. Combining this data with statistics from Gaia, a space observatory that is creating a 3D map of 1 billion nearby stars, eliminated the false positives and confirmed the new exoplanets.

Using this same method, the University of Tokyo researchers teamed up with the Center for Astrobiology at the National Institutes of Natural Sciences to confirm an additional 60 exoplanets just three months later.

Planetary diversity

Not only were the astronomers able to confirm the existence of 104 new planets, but they also learned a bit about them. They found two dozen planets living in multi-planet systems, with stars K2-187 the size of the Sun. There are also 34 planets that probably have rocky compositions and are less than twice the size of Earth, but unfortunately uninhabitable due to atmospheres. thin or nonexistent.

Most intriguingly, the data shows that seven of these new planets , including an orbiting K2-187 , have ultra-short orbital periods – planets so close to their host stars that they encircle them in less than 24 hours. Our current formation theory suggests that planets form much farther away in a star’s orbit, causing astronomers to question how (or for how long) these tightly knit systems exist.

Fortunately, there is still a lot of K2 data to analyze, and the continued discovery of these peculiar planets will help shed light on their formations and evolution. Better yet, a new space telescope is already on the hunt.

Fortunately, there is still a lot of K2 data to analyze, and the continued discovery of these peculiar planets will help shed light on their formations and evolution. Better yet, a new space telescope is already on the hunt.

“Although the Kepler space telescope has been officially retired by NASA, the successor space telescope, called TESS, has already started collecting data. In just the first month of operations, TESS has already found many new exoplanets and will continue to discover many more. We can expect many new and exciting discoveries in the coming years, “said John Livingston of the University of Tokyo (Japan) and leader of the works.

With new exoplanets bursting onto the scene faster than ever, and with upcoming missions like the James Webb Space Telescope gearing up to investigate them, we are preparing for another era of groundbreaking discovery.

Reference: Sixty Validated Planets from K2 Campaigns 5–8 the Astronomical Journal: http: //iopscience.iop. org / article / 10.3847 / 1538-3881 / aae778 / 44 Validated Planets from K2 Campaign 10:

Distribution of discovered exoplanet orbits. The colors indicate the temperatures of those planets; blue roughly indicates the Earth’s temperature; The white shows temperatures similar to the surface of Venus; And red shows lava as temperatures. (Credit: John H. Livingston)

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