NASA’s Kepler space telescope has spotted a planet similar to Jupiter in a new discovery, although the instrument stopped working four years ago.
An international team of astrophysicists using NASA kepler space telescope, which ceased operations in 2018, has discovered an exoplanet similar to Jupiter located 17,000 light-years from Earth, making it the most distant exoplanet discovered by Kepler. The extrasolar planetofficially designated K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb, was observed in data captured by Kepler in 2016. Throughout its life, Kepler has observed more than 2,700 now confirmed planets.
“Kepler was also able to observe without interruption by weather or daylight, which allowed us to accurately determine the mass of the exoplanet and the distance of its orbit from host starEamonn Kerns, an astronomer at the University of Manchester in the UK, He said in a statement. “It’s basically the identical twin of Jupiter in terms of its mass and position from the Sun, which accounts for about 60% of our Sun’s mass,”
Related: Strangest Alien Planets (Gallery)
The team is led by David Specht, Ph.D. A student at the University of Manchester, benefited from a phenomenon known as microgravity To discover an exoplanet. With this phenomenon that he predicted Einstein’s theory of relativityobjects in space can be seen and closely studied when the light from a background star is distorted and thus amplified by the gravity of an object closer to the mass.
Hoping to use the twisted light from a distant star to detect an exoplanet, the team used three months of Kepler’s observations across the sky where that planet is located.
“Seeing the impact at all would require a nearly perfect alignment between the foreground planetary system and the background star,” Kerns added in the same statement. “The probability of a background star being affected in this way by a planet is tens to hundreds of millions to one. But there are hundreds of millions of stars toward the center of our galaxy. So Kepler sat and watched them for three months.”
The team then worked with Ian MacDonald, another astronomer at the University of Manchester who developed a new search algorithm. Together, we were able to reveal five candidates in the data, one of which clearly showed signs of an exoplanet. Other observations on Earth of the same stretch of sky confirmed the same signals that Kepler saw of possible exoplanets.
“The difference in the vantage point between Kepler and observers here on Earth allowed us to triangulate where the planetary system is along our line of sight,” Kearns said.
Aside from the excitement of discovering an exoplanet with an instrument that is no longer even in service, the team’s work is notable because Kepler was not designed to discover exoplanets using this phenomenon. It is important to note, however, that in 2016, Kepler’s mission was extended. In 2013, after two reaction wheel failures, Kepler was proposed to be used on the K2 “Second Light” mission which would see the range discover potentially habitable exoplanets. This extension was approved in 2014 and the mission has been extended beyond the range’s expected completion date until it eventually runs out of fuel on October 30, 2018.
“Kepler was never designed to find planets that use the microlensing, so, in many ways, it’s surprising that it did,” Kerns said, adding that upcoming instruments like NASA’s Nancy Grace Space Telescope and ESA’s Euclid mission, could be Able to use the micro-lens to study exoplanets and will be able to do more of this research.
“On the other hand, Roman and Euclid will be improved for this kind of work,” Kerns said. “They will be able to complete the planet census that Kepler started.” “We will learn how the structure of our solar system is typical. The data will also allow us to test our ideas about how planets form. This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our search for other worlds.”
This discovery It was described in a study It was published on March 31 on the preprint server ArXiv.org and submitted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Email Chelsea Gohd at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed And on Facebook.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble coffee enthusiast. Future teen idol. Tv nerd. Explorer. Organizer. Twitter aficionado. Evil music fanatic.”