2021-10-15

The study found that wooden planets can survive the death of their stars

By yqqlm yqqlm

The study found that wooden planets can survive the death of their stars

researchers detected the system using the W.M. Keck Observatory in Mauna Kaya, Hawaii; It consists of a wooden planet that revolves around a white dwarf near the center of the Milky Way galaxy

“this evidence confirms that planets operating at a large enough distance can continue to exist after the death of their stars,” said Joshua Blackman, a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy at the University of Tasmania in Australia and the lead author of the study. “Since this system is an analog of our own solar system, it shows that Jupiter and Saturn may survive the red giant phase of the sun when it runs out of nuclear fuel and destroys itself.”

the study was published in the journal Nature on October 13

“the future of the earth may not be so good because it is closer to the sun,” said study co-author David Bennett, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “If humans want to move to a satellite of Jupiter or Saturn before the sun blows up the earth in its red supergiant phase, we will still stay in orbit around the sun, although we will not be able to rely on the heat from the white dwarf for a long time.”

white dwarfs are what main sequence stars like the sun become when they die. At the end of a star’s life cycle, a star burns all the hydrogen in its core and expands into a red giant. Then it collapses and shrinks into a white dwarf, leaving only a hot, dense core, usually the size of the earth and half the mass of the sun. Because these compact stellar remains are small and there is no nuclear fuel to emit bright radiation, white dwarfs are very weak and difficult to detect

The study found that wooden planets can survive the death of their stars(1)

the high-resolution near-infrared images obtained by pairing the laser guide star adaptive optics system of the Keck Observatory with the near-infrared camera (nirc2) show that the mass of the newly discovered white dwarf is about 60% of that of the sun, and its exoplanet survivors are a huge gas world, The mass is about 40% higher than Jupiter

the research team discovered the planet using a technology called gravitational microlens. This phenomenon occurs when stars close to the earth are instantaneously aligned with more distant stars. This creates a phenomenon that the gravity from the foreground star acts like a lens to amplify the light from the background star. If a planet orbits a nearby star, it will temporarily distort the amplified light when the planet roars past

strangely, when the research team tried to find the main star of the planet, they unexpectedly found that the starlight was not bright enough to be an ordinary main sequence star. These data also exclude the possibility of brown dwarfs as hosts

The study found that wooden planets can survive the death of their stars(2)

“we have also been able to rule out the possibility of neutron stars or black hole hosts. This means that the planet orbits a dead star and a white dwarf,” co-author, Professor of astrophysics at the University of Tasmania Jean Philippe Beaulieu, CNRS research director of the Institute of Astrophysics in Paris, said: “it provides a glimpse of what our solar system will look like after the disappearance of the earth.”

the research team plans to incorporate their findings into a statistical study to find out how many white dwarfs have complete planetary survivors

NASA’s upcoming mission, the Nancy grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly known as wfirst), aims to directly image giant planets, which will help further promote their investigation. The Roman telescope will be able to conduct a more comprehensive survey of planets orbiting white dwarfs in the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This will enable astronomers to determine whether the last days of wooden like planets escaping their stars are common, or whether a considerable part of them are destroyed when their host star becomes a red giant

John O’Meara, chief scientist of Keck Observatory, said: “this is an extremely exciting result. It’s great to see an example of the kind of science Keck will carry out on a large scale when he starts his mission in Roman today.”