Once a star left the gravitational embrace of its solar system, its pretty much destined to drift through interstellar space forever. Astronomers call these drifters “rogue planets” and one of them have been found recently.
Astronomers have discovered what appears to be an intact, Jupiter-size planet ( WD 1856 b ) whipping around a compact white dwarf, the remnant of a Sun-like star.
Researchers have found an Earth-size exoplanet with a pi-like 3.14-day period. Whirling around its star at some 291,000 kph, the planet’s surface temperature is estimated at around 176 degrees Celsius.
Direct images of exoplanets are pretty rare. This is the first direct image of multiple exoplanets orbiting a star similar to our Sun taken by The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT).
An Earth-like world is one that’s rocky and that orbits a Sun-like, or G-Type, star. The Milky Way has 400 billion stars, with 7 % of them being G-type, meaning that less than six billion stars may have Earth-like planets in our Galaxy.
Astronomy is advancing to the point where we can see planets forming around young stars. This was an unthinkable only a few years ago. It was only two years ago that astronomers captured the first image of a newly-forming planet.
The object, called Fomalhaut b, was first announced in 2008. It was clearly visible in several years of Hubble observations that revealed it was a moving dot. Now it has vanished and scientists seek for a plausible explanation.
The system around HD 158259 star consists of an innermost large rocky planet (a “super-Earth”) and five small gas giants (“mini-Neptunes”) that have exceptionally regular spacing between them.
Cheops (Characterising Exoplanet Satellite), the satellite for the study of the exoplanets of the European Space Agency (Esa), has passed the exams and now it is ready to go to work.