2021-11-26

Astronomers have discovered more than 300 new potential exoplanets using advanced planetary exploration technology

By yqqlm yqqlm

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42f24d4b8e5daee - Astronomers have discovered more than 300 new potential exoplanets using advanced planetary exploration technology

the term “exoplanet” is used to describe planets outside our solar system. Astronomers have identified fewer than 5000 exoplanets, so identifying hundreds of new exoplanets is a major progress. Studying such a large number of new celestial bodies can help scientists better understand how planets form and orbit, and can also provide new insights into how unusual our solar system is

Erik petigura, Professor of astronomy at UCLA and co-author of the study, pointed out: “the discovery of hundreds of new exoplanets is an important achievement in itself, but the difference of this work lies in how it will illuminate the characteristics of the entire exoplanet group.”

it is reported that the first author of this study is Jon Zink, He received his doctorate from UCLA in June and is currently a postdoctoral scholar at UCLA. He, petigura and a team of international astronomers called scaling K2 identified these exoplanets by using data from the K2 mission of NASA Kepler space telescope

this discovery is realized by a new planet detection algorithm developed by zikn. One challenge in identifying new planets is that the reduction in stall brightness may come from instruments or other astrophysical sources that mimic planetary characteristics. Identifying which is which requires additional investigation is traditionally time-consuming and can only be done by visual inspection. Zink’s algorithm can distinguish which signals are planets and which are just noise

petigura said: “the catalog and planet detection algorithm designed by Jon and scaling K2 team is a major breakthrough in understanding the planet group. They will make our understanding of the physical process of planet formation and evolution clearer, which I have no doubt.”

Kepler’s initial mission ended unexpectedly in 2013, At that time, a mechanical failure prevented the spacecraft from pointing accurately to the sky it had been observing for many years

but astronomers re used the telescope for a new mission called K2, whose goal is to identify exoplanets near distant stars. Data from K2 are helping scientists understand how the position of stars in the Milky way affects what planets can form around them. Unfortunately, the software used to identify possible planets in the original Kepler mission could not deal with the complexity of the K2 mission, including the ability to determine the size of planets and their position relative to stars

previous work by Zink and collaborators introduced the first fully automated pipeline for K2, which uses software to identify possible planets in the processed data

in the new study, researchers used new software to analyze the entire data set of K2 – about 500 megabytes of data, including more than 800 million star images, so as to create a “directory”. The catalog will soon be included in NASA’s main exoplanet archives. The researchers used the hoffman2 cluster of UCLA to process the data

in addition to the 366 new planets identified by the researchers, the catalogue also lists 381 other planets previously identified

According to zikn, these findings may be an important step to help astronomers understand which types of stars are most likely to be surrounded by planets and the components needed to indicate successful planetary formation. “We need to observe a wide range of stars, not just stars like our sun, to understand this.”

it is also very important to find planetary systems with two gaseous giant planets, because gaseous giant planets – like Saturn in our own solar system – are rarely found as close to their host stars as in this case. Researchers can’t explain why it happened there, but Zink says this makes the discovery particularly useful because it can help scientists form a more accurate understanding of the parameters of how planets and planetary systems develop

“the discovery of each new world provides a unique glimpse of the physics that plays a role in planetary formation,” he said