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The Giant Planet 13 Times The Mass Of Jupiter Found Orbiting In An 'Exotic' Red Star/Dead Star System

Publicado em 09 abril 2019

Astronomers in Brazil just have it published in & nbsp; Astronomical Journal evidence of a "giant Jupiter" planet in the distance and"exotic"the star system in the Milky Way. As well as having 13 times the mass of Jupiter, the extrasolar planet is the first to be discovered that orbits an older or more developed binary where one of the two stars dies.

What are binary stars?

Think of our solar system as "normal?" Think again. The most common type of star system in our Milky Way galaxy is a multi-star system, in which two or more stars orbit each other, or rather, they orbit the center of a shared mass. Maybe it arrived 85% of stars are in a binary system, including the famous "stars" Sirius, Spica, Rigel, and Alpha Centauri. Binary stars are gravitationally bound to each other, so don't confuse "double stars", which usually refer to stars that optically appear very close to each other facing each other in binoculars or telescopes, but may be in the same star system completely different. There are many three-star and higher systems too. Polaris, North Star, is a three star system, & nbsp; whereas previous Kepler data has been used to find "three-star that is not possible" KIC 2856960 system.

However, & nbsp;Star system KIC 10544976 & nbsp; also unique. & Nbsp;

What did astronomers find?

"We have found strong evidence of the existence of giant extrasolar planets with a mass nearly 13 times that of Jupiter in evolved binary systems," said lead author Leonardo Andrade de Almeida at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN). "This is the first confirmation of an extrasolar planet in a system like this." Almeida and his co-author, Augusto Damineli studied the near binary star system KIC 10544976, using data from ground-based telescopes between 2005 and 2017, and from the Kepler Space Telescope between 2009 and 2013. The Space Kepler Telescope, which completing his mission in 2018, has been responsible for most of the 4,000+ extrasolar planet discoveries so far.

What is KIC 10544976?

KIC 10544976 contains white dwarf stars (low mass dead stars with high surface temperatures) and red dwarf stars (stars that are magnetically active with a small mass compared to the Sun) that orbit each other quickly every 0.35 days. "This system is unique," Almeida said. "There is no similar system that has enough data to allow us to calculate orbital period variations and magnetic cycle activity for living stars."

KIC 10544976 is in the constellation Cygnus "swan" in the northern hemisphere, a region carefully studied by the Kepler Space Telescope.

What about the "giant Jupiter" found?

The orbits of the stars are slightly different, which astronomers pay attention to from the time variations taken for each of the two stars to eclipse each other & nbsp; one another. "The variation in the period of binary orbit is caused by the gravitational attraction between three objects, which orbit around the center of a shared mass," Almeida said. The key to this research is to & nbsp; examine the cycle of binary dwarf binary magnetic activity "live" by monitoring solar flares and energy rates and their luminosity variability caused by sunspots. "Variations in the magnetic activity of our Sun eventually cause changes in the magnetic field," said Almeida. "The same applies to all isolated stars. In binaries, this variation also causes changes in the orbital period because of what we call Applegate mechanism. "

The researchers measured the magnetic cycle & nbsp; and finding the results is what is expected for a single low-mass star, and only finds one long-term variation. "This completely disproves the hypothesis that orbital period variations are caused by magnetic activity," Almeida said. "The most plausible explanation is the existence of a giant planet orbiting binary, with a mass roughly 13 times that of Jupiter."

Why do we need to take a closer look at "giant Jupiter

How can? "Giant Jupiter" forms and evolves? Is this a "first generation" planet that developed together with two stars billions of years ago? Or is it formed from gas released during the death of a white dwarf, making it a second generation planet? Is there a life "giant Jupiter?" These are questions that can only be answered by ground-based telescopes with primary mirrors exceeding 20 meters, which is why the S & P Research Foundation Paulo (FAPESP) invested US $ 40 million in Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), which is currently being built in the Atacama Desert of Chile and is expected to see the first light in 2024.

"We are investigating 20 systems where external objects can show gravitational effects, such as KIC 10544976, and most can only be observed from the southern hemisphere," Almeida said. "GMT will allow us to detect these objects directly and obtain important answers about the formation and evolution of this exotic environment, and the possibility of life there."

The future of hunting extrasolar planets

With the launch of the Kepler Space Telescope in 2011, the hunt for extrasolar planets became the hottest genre in the field of astronomy and planetary science. The mission ends in October 2018, but the launch of the TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey) in April 2018 is expected to bring more extrasolar planet discoveries that can be confirmed by a new generation of ground-based telescopes.

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