Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Astronomers Discover Mysterious ‘Super-Earths’

Rather obviously, the majority of the planets we are detecting are way too close to their sun to make them truly interesting bas a lsurface base for life.  yet the size is right for our needs in terms of gravity.

I do think we are going to discover every star packs a disc of planets whose configeration is rather messy as compared to ours, which is showing ample indication of been engineered.  I now wonder if it is possible to shift a planet that is Earth sized out into the Goldiloks zone.

suppose humanity does just that in order to produce genetic vigor?  obviously we have plenty of prospects out there that could be connected by wormhole.

Astronomers Discover Mysterious ‘Super-Earths’

June 2, 2023


Astronomers using observations from NASA’s TESS telescope – detected a system of two planets slightly larger than Earth orbiting a cold star in a synchronized dance. Named TOI-2096, the system is located 150 light-years from Earth. This discovery has been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (https://orbi.uliege.be/handle/2268/301703).

The planets TOI-2096 b and TOI-2096 c were observed with an international network of ground-based telescopes, allowing their confirmation and characterization. Most of the transits were obtained with telescopes of the TRAPPIST and SPECULOOS projects led by the University of Liege. “Making an exhaustive analysis of the data, we found that the two planets were in resonant orbits: for each orbit of the outer planet, the inner planet orbits the star twice,” says Mathilde Timmermans, a doctoral student at the ExoTIC lab at ULiege and second author of the scientific paper. Their periods are, therefore, very close to being a multiple of each other, with about 3.12 days for planet b and about 6.38 days for planet c. This is a very particular configuration, and it causes a strong gravitational interaction between the planets. This interaction delays or accelerates the passage of the planets in front of their star and could lead to the measurement of the planetary masses using larger telescopes in the near future.”

The researchers behind the discovery estimate that the radius of planet b – the closest to its star – is 1.2 times that of Earth, hence the name ‘super-Earth’. Its properties could be similar to Earth’s: a planet with a mostly rocky composition, possibly surrounded by a thin atmosphere. Similarly, the radius of planet c is 1.9 times the radius of the Earth and 55% that of Neptune, which could place the planet in the category of ‘mini-Neptunes’, planets composed of a rocky and icy core surrounded by extended hydrogen- or water-rich atmospheres, such as Uranus and Neptune in our Solar System.

These sizes are very interesting because the number of planets with a radius between 1.5 and 2.5 Earth radii is smaller than what theoretical models predict, making these planets a rarity. These planets are of crucial importance given their sizes,” notes Mathilde Timmermans, “the formation of super-Earths and mini-Neptunes remains a mystery today. Several formation models try to explain it, but none fits the observations perfectly. TOI-2096 is the only system found to date with a super-Earth and a mini-Neptune precisely at the sizes where the models contradict each other. In other words, TOI-2096 may be the system we’ve been looking for to understand how these planetary systems have formed.”

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