Astronomers discovered a new exoplanet in the debris disk of a star. After decades of searching, the exoplanet discovered as an exoplanet is near the red dwarf star AU Microscopii about 32 light-years away. This discovery will help scientists understand the process of planet formation, including our own solar system. Astronomers expected more exoplanets in this system, but they were hidden due to disk fragments around AU Microscopii.
What is AU microphone b?
A study led by Peter Plavchan, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at George Mason, described the new exoplanet AU Mic b. The research was published in the journal Nature on June 24.
According to NASA, this study shows that exoplanets are 8% larger than Neptune. In perspective, the width of Neptune is about four times that of the Earth. However, the weight of AU Mic b is less than 58 times the mass of the earth. In addition, it only takes 8.5 days to bypass AU Microscopii.
Interestingly, AU Microscopii (also known as AU Mic) is said to be a young star, and it may help scientists learn more about the process of star formation. Its age is estimated at 20-30 million years, 150 times younger than our sun.
How was AU Mic b discovered?
NASA claims that because of the presence of star points similar to the cool, dark, and highly magnetic regions of sunspots, and resulting in changes in the brightness of stars, detecting planets around stars such as AU Microscopii (or AU Mic) poses a special challenge .
To discover exoplanets, astronomers used AU Mic data observed by NASA TESS in July and August 2018. Then they turned to the Spitzer telescope, enabling astronomers to “confirm the orbital period of AU Mic b.”
“Because traffic blocks a lot of light [when a planet crosses in front of its star from our perspective] The transit of TESS and Spitzer depends on the size and orbital distance of the planet, and the size of AU Mic b can be directly measured. Analysis of these measurements shows that the planet is about 8% larger than Neptune. “
Combining observations from WM Keck Observatory and NASA’s infrared telescope facility in Hawaii and the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the mass of the planet was discovered.
The meaning of discovery
It is said that the discovery of AU Mic b will help understand the formation and evolution of stars and planets. It will also help scientists learn more about the planet’s atmospheric composition.
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