Researchers have discovered a new planet the size of Neptune, approximately 32 light-years away from Earth.
A new study, published in the scientific journal Nature, details the discovery of AU Mic b, which is part of the AU Microscopii star system. Due to its close proximity to the star, known as AU Mic, the exoplanet (a planet outside the Solar System) has an orbit of 8.5 days.
“We believe AU Mic b formed far from the star and migrated inward to its current orbit, something that can happen when planets gravitationally interact with a gas disk or other planets,” said the study’s co-author and associate scientist at the project for TESS at NASA. Goddard Thomas Barclay Space Flight Center in a statement. “By contrast, the orbit of Beta Pictoris b does not appear to have migrated much. The differences between these systems of similar age can tell us a lot about how planets form and migrate. ”
GALAXY MILKY COULD HAVE ‘WORLDS OF THE OCEAN’ EVERYWHERE, NASA SAYS
AU Mic b was discovered by NASA’s Exoplanet Hunting Transitional Satellite for Exoplanets, or TESS and its retired Spitzer Space Telescope.
Estimated to be between 20 and 30 million years old, AU Mic is a “cold dwarf” star and is also of interest to researchers, given its age and other characteristics.
AU Mic is a young M star dwarf nearby. It is surrounded by a vast disk of debris on which clusters of moving dust have been tracked, and now, thanks to TESS and Spitzer, it has a planet with a direct measurement of size, ”added study co-author Bryson Cale. “There is no other known system that ticks all of these important boxes.”
AU Mic is in the constellation Microscopium and is part of the Beta Pictoris Moving Group, which NASA says is a Type A star and “houses two planets and is also surrounded by a disk of debris.”
6 BILLION PLANETS “LIKE EARTH” IN THE GALAXY MILKYWAY, THE STUDY SUGGESTS
Given its proximity to Earth, the AU Mic system is considered “a touchstone system, a close laboratory for understanding the formation and evolution of stars and planets that will be studied in the coming decades,” NASA added in the statement.
The researchers noted that they hope to get further analyzes of AU Mic and AU Mic b with TESS later this year, with the possibility of another planet being discovered.
“An additional candidate transit event is observed in the TESS data, and it is expected that TESS will revisit AU Mic later this year on its extended mission,” explained study co-author Peter Plavchan. “We continue to monitor the star with accurate radial velocity measurements, so stay tuned.”
NASA WANTS TO EXPLORE THE NEPTUNE MOON TRITON, WHICH COULD HAVE A LIFE OF SUPPORTING THE OCEAN
NASA’s TESS has made several exoplanet discoveries since its launch in April 2018, including the so-called “missing link.”
In September 2018, the $ 200 million TESS found its first exoplanet, and in April 2019, it found its first planet the size of Earth. In January of this year, he discovered his first planet the size of Earth in a “habitable zone”.
NASA discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets in total, approximately 50 of which are thought to be habitable as of September 2018. They are the correct size and correct orbit for their star to withstand surface water and, at least theoretically, for Life Support.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP