Tech UPTechnologyTracking the youngest exoplanet ever found

Tracking the youngest exoplanet ever found

exoplaneta-iacA planet less than a million years old is a veritable baby still in the making. Scientists have already classified hundreds of exoplanets, that is to say planets that are outside the Solar System, since the 1980s until now. A research team made up of staff from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA) has evidence to consider thatthe object classified as TRM-1C in the year 1985 is the ideal candidate to become the youngest planet ever detected.

The story began in 1998, when NASA announced that they had detected the first extrasolar planet thanks to images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The investigation was signed by Susan Terebey and she claimed that she had found abinary star(a star system made up of two stars orbiting around a common center of mass) which he named TRM-1A and TRM-1B. This is very common in the Universe and did not represent any scientific novelty. The interesting thing was that this system was associated with a planet called TRM-1C that would have about ten times the mass of Jupiter. This planetary body would be linked to the stars by a string of gases. The entire system described is in astar birth zone in the constellation Tauruswhere there is a large number of molecular clouds and stars in formation.

But the thing did not stop there and the same investigation team rectified its announcement. In 2000, Terebey used the Keck telescope (Hawaii) to do a study in the infrared range and concluded that TRM-1C was not an exoplanet. The claim was based on the fact that no trace of the typical gases that make up planetary atmospheres such as carbon monoxide, methane or water vapor itself were found. The explanation that was given at the time is that it would then be a background star far from that system. With this second announcement, much of the scientific community lost interest in TRM-1C.

Now the magazineAstronomy & Astrophysicsis about to publish a new work that modifies all of the above and returns TMR-1C to planet category. The main researcher of this discovery is Eduardo Martín Guerrero, who currently works for the CAB CSIC-INTA but has developed a large part of his research work at the IAC. Martín Guerrero explains that that year he was working as a professor at the University of Hawaii and that meant very easy access to all the telescopes at that observatory. “An excellent night at the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope, I finished doing the scheduled observation and it occurred to me to take images of that object because it still seemed interesting to me,” explains the researcher who left these data obtained in “the drawer that we all have. astrophysicists “.

On2009Working with the Pakistani Basmah Riaz, Martín Guerrero once again inquired about the mysterious object. The results of this observation were surprising becauseTMR-1C had changed and was three times brighter and much bluer than when it was first detected in 1998. The change assumes that it is a very young object because variability is a typical behavior of bodies in formation and it was ruled out as a background star.

The new study, in which the IAC intervenes, shows that TMR-1C would be the youngest exoplanet detected to date and that it ismember of the association of the two binary stars TMR-1A and TMR-1B. However, there are still some questions to be resolved. One of them is that the object is very hot, something that Eduardo Martín Guerrero and Basmah Riaz interpret as a planet surrounded by a disk of hot dust.

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