The incredible phenomenon of the surviving planet that baffles scientists

The incredible phenomenon of the surviving planet that baffles scientists

The Specialists They assume that when our Sun reaches the end of its life, it will be extended at least 100 times its current size and it will end enveloping the Earth. It is that when the Expanding stars, it is expected that They engulf nearby planets.

Many planets in other solar systems face a similar fate as their host stars age. However, recently, a team of researchers has announced that Not all hope is lost.

Astronomers at the Institute of Astronomy of the University of Hawaii (UH IfA) have made the remarkable discovery of the survival of a planet after what it should have been certain disappearance at the hands of his Sun.. The work of the specialists has just been published in the journal Nature.

The planet 8 UMi b, officially called Hallais similar to Jupiter and orbits the red giant star Baekdu (8 UMi) only half the distance separating the Earth from the Sun. Using two observatories on Maunakea’s island of Hawaii—the one at W. M. Keck and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)—a group of experts led by Marc Hon, a member of NASA’s Hubble team at UH IfA, discovered that Halla persists despite the normally dangerous evolution of Baekdu.

Using observations of stellar oscillations taken by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), experts discovered that the star is burning helium in its core, indicating that it had already expanded greatly to become a red giant star before this instance, opening a new horizon to understanding this process that was considered routine.

According to the data collected, the star in question underwent an expansion process until it reached a magnitude 1.5 times greater than the orbital distance of the planet, which resulted in the absorption of the planet itself in that process. Subsequently, the star shrank back to its current size, which is only one-tenth the measurement of that orbital distance.

“Planetary immersion has catastrophic consequences for the planet or for the star itself, or for both. The fact that Halla has managed to persist in the immediate vicinity of an otherwise gobbling giant star highlights the planet as an extraordinary survivor,” explained Hon, the study’s lead author.

The planet Halla was discovered in 2015 by a team of astronomers from Korea using the radial velocity method that measures the periodic motion of a star due to the gravitational pull of the orbiting planet. Following the discovery that the star at some point must have been larger than the planet’s orbit, the IfA team made additional observations between 2021 and 2022 using the Keck Observatory’s High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) and CFHT’s ESPaDOnS instrument.

These new data confirmed that the planet’s nearly circular 93-day orbit had remained stable for more than a decade and that the radial velocity changes are likely due to a planet. “Together, these observations confirmed its existence, leaving us with the question of how the planet really survived,” said IfA astronomer Daniel Huber, second author of the study and member of a work team that exceeded half a hundred specialists. Observations from multiple telescopes on Maunakea were critical in this process.”

At a distance of 0.46 astronomical units (AU, or the distance between the Earth and the Sun) to its star, Planet Halla Looks Like Hot Jupiter-Like Planets which are thought to have started in larger orbits before migrating inward near their stars However, faced with a rapidly evolving host star, such an origin becomes an extremely unlikely survival route for the planet Halla.

Another theory for the planet’s survival is that it never faced the danger of being swallowed. Similar to famous Star Wars planet Tatooine, which orbits two suns, the team believes the host star Baekdu may have been original.mind two stars. A merger of these two stars may have prevented either of them from expanding enough to engulf the planet.

A third possibility is that Halla is a relatively newborn: that the violent collision between the two stars produced a cloud of gas from which the planet formed. In other words, the planet Halla may be a newly appeared second-generation planet.

“Most stars are in binary systems, but we still don’t fully understand how planets can form around them. It is therefore plausible that more planets may actually exist around highly evolved stars thanks to binary interactions,” Huber concluded.


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