Meteor magnets in outer space: Finding elusive giant planets

ScienceDaily | 5/24/2019 | Staff
Kota79Kota79 (Posted by) Level 4
Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2019/05/190524130231_1_540x360.jpg

A UCR-led team has discovered two Jupiter-sized planets about 150 light years away from Earth that could reveal whether life is likely on the smaller planets in other solar systems.

"We believe planets like Jupiter have profoundly impacted the progression of life on Earth. Without them, humans might not be here to have this conversation," said Stephen Kane, lead study author and UCR associate professor of planetary astrophysics. "Understanding how many other stars have planets like Jupiter could be very important for learning about the habitability of planets in those systems."

Water - Oceans - Kane - Astronomers - Planets

Along with liquid water oceans, Kane said astronomers believe such planets have the ability to act as 'slingshots,' pulling objects like meteors, comets, and asteroids out of their trajectories en route to impact with small, rocky planets.

Many larger planets have been found close to their stars. However, those aren't as useful for learning about the architecture of our own solar system, where the giant planets including Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are all farther from the sun. Big planets far from their stars have, until now, been harder to find.

Study - Publication - Astronomical - Journal - Details

A study recently accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal details how Kane's team found success in a novel approach combining traditional detection methods with the latest technologies.

One popular method of searching for exoplanets -- planets in other solar systems -- involves monitoring stars for "wobble," in which a star moves toward and away from Earth. The wobble is likely caused by the gravitational pull a nearby planet is exerting on it. When a star wobbles, it's a clue there may be an exoplanet nearby.

Planet - Star - Pull - Problem - Detection

When the planet is far from its star, the gravitational pull is weaker, making the wobble smaller and harder to detect. The other problem with using the wobble detection method, Kane said, is that it just takes a long...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
Wake Up To Breaking News!
The truth fairly and honestly presented, will be spun as a lie by a politician.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to Long Room!

Where The World Finds Its News!