Astronomers have discovered the first radio signal from an exoplanet

In our endless quest to understand the universe and our place within it, precious little blips in the data can signal a whole new world.

The light of the star could betray the presence of filled planets in the layer – and now astronomers have taken the first steps towards using radio emission pips to uncover new exoplanetary mysteries.

Cornell University astronomer Jack Turner and his colleagues explained in their new paper, “Observation of planetary radio-radio radio emissions is the most promising method for detecting exoplanetary magnetic fields,” Habit.

When a stellar wind – charged particles flowing from a host star – hits the planet’s magnetic field, a change in its motion can be detected as an attractive variation in radio emissions, which is statistically described as ‘bursty’.

The earth trails its own magnetic field and accepts it like sacred birds as it channels the solar wind. We have also heard similar cries of other planets in our solar system.

Of course, in order to detect the signal of such radio signals coming from an exoplanet, we first need a way to look beyond sound on Earth and elsewhere.

A few years ago, the team developed the Boralis Pipeline Program to do just that. They tested it on Jupiter and then calculated what Jupiter’s radio emissions would be if it were too far away.

Some of the new planets have been temporarily investigated using these radio emissions, including earlier this year when astronomers linked radio wave activity to the interaction between the magnetic field of a star GJ1151 and a possible Earth-sized planet. But all this has so far been confirmed by the following radio observations.

So Turner’s team decided to test their developed technology, using the Netherlands’ low frequency array radiotelescope (LOFAR) to look at three systems with the known explanate: 55 Cancri, Upsilon Andromeda and TT Botis.

Matching the researchers’ predictions from their experiments with the secret planet, only light1 light years away, only the Tow Botis system exhibits peeps in radio data. It comes in the form of 14-21 MHz burst emission and is within the assurance of approximately three standard deviations (2.3 sigma).

In 1996, a hot-Jupiter exoplanet was discovered around a glowing young F-type star and at a 3.3128-day orbit, and a small red dwarf that forms the Tou Boutis binary system.

“We’ve made a case for emissions from the planet itself,” Turner said. “From the strength and polarization of the radio signal and the planet’s magnetic field, it is consistent with theoretical predictions.”

If its measurement is correct, they indicate that the magnetic field strength of the planet’s surface is about 5 to 11 Gauss (for comparison Jupiter is 4 to 13 Gauss, and the measurement of its magnetic field is the main part of the Earth’s metal hydrogen). The observed magnetic field emission power also matches the previous predictions.

“Earth-like exoplanets’ magnetic fields can contribute to their possible atmosphere,” Turner explained, “protecting their own atmosphere from solar winds and cosmic rays and protecting the planet from atmospheric damage.”

The signal they detected is weak and still needs to be tested by other low-frequency telescopes before researchers can confirm the true origin of the radio emissions they discovered.

Researchers have warned that “stellar flares cannot be ruled out as a source of emissions, but there is a possibility of emissions from the planet.”

If other telescopes such as LOFAR-LBA and Nanufar could support these findings, such radio emission probes from exoplanets would open up an exciting new field of research that would give us a potential way to look further into the distant, alien world.

This research was published in Astronomy and Astrophysics.