“Tatooine-like” exoplanets discovered by ground-based telescopes

This image is an illustration created by Amanda Smith, a 193 cm telescope at the Haute-Provence Observatory used in this study. This is the telescope that discovered 51 Pegasi, the first exoplanet, and won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2019. The sky represents the Kepler-16 orbiting planetary system, along with a depiction of NASA’s Kepler field of view. Spaceship. Credit: Amanda Smith

A team led by the University of Birmingham used a ground-based telescope to detect a rare exoplanet orbiting two stars at once.

This planet, called Kepler 16b, has so far only been seen using the Kepler Space Telescope.It orbits around two PerformerThe two orbits also orbit each other, Star system..Kepler 16b is located at about 245 Light year From Earth, and like Luke Skywalker’s hometown of Tatooine, in the Star Wars universe, there are two sunsets if you can stand on its surface.

The 193 cm telescope used in the new observation is based on the Haute-Provence Observatory in France. The team was able to detect the planet using the radial velocity method. In this way, astronomers observe changes in the velocity of a star as it orbits the planet.

The detection of Kepler-16b using the radial velocity method is an important demonstration that the circumbinary planets can be detected using more traditional methods with higher efficiency and lower cost than using spacecraft.

What is important Radial velocity method It is also more sensitive to additional planets in the system and can measure the mass of planets. This is its most basic characteristic.

After demonstrating how to use Kepler-16b, the team will continue to explore previously unknown circumbinary planets and help answer questions about how the planets are formed. Normally, the formation of planets is Protoplanetary disk— A mass of dust and gas surrounding a young star. However, this process may not be possible within a circumbinary system.

Professor Amaury Triaud of the University of Birmingham, who led the team, explains: “Using this standard description, it is difficult to understand how circumbinary planets exist. From agglutination to planets, a process called attachment.

“Planets may have formed far away from the two weakly affected stars and then moved inward in a process called disk-driven movement, or to modify the understanding of the planet’s accretion process. You may need to. “.”

Dr. David Martin of The Ohio State University (USA), who contributed to the discovery, explains: planet Disk-driven migration is a viable process and provides one of the clearest clues that it happens on a regular basis. “

Dr. Alexander Saint-Terne of the University of Marseille, a collaborator of the study, explains: “Kepler 16b was first discovered 10 years ago by NASA’s Kepler satellite using the transit method. It turns a telescope to retrieve Kepler 16 and demonstrate the effectiveness of the radial velocity method.”

Also at Marseille University, Dr. Isabelle Boisse is the scientist responsible for the SOPHIE equipment used to collect the data. She states: “Our findings show that ground-based telescopes are fully relevant to the study of modern exoplanets and can be used for exciting new projects. Many others have shown that they can detect Kepler-16b. Analyze the data acquired in the exoplanet system. Search for new ones. Circumbinary planets.. “

The study is published at Monthly Notification of the Royal Astronomical Society..

A new way to detect verified Tatooine-like planets

For more information:
BEBOP III.Kepler-16 (AB) b observations and independent mass measurements – the first circumbinary planets detected at radial velocity Monthly Notification of the Royal Astronomical Society, DOI: 10.1093 / mnras / stab3712 / 6515255

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“Tatooine-like” exoplanets discovered by ground-based telescopes

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