Our share of strange and new worlds has just reached 5000.
Astronomers have added the 5,000th extraterrestrial world to NASA’s archive of exoplanets, and officials at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California announced on Monday (March 21).
The achievement comes amid a flurry of recent discoveries and the promise of more insights to come, with NASA funding $10 billion. James Webb Space Telescope In preparation for planetary stares in deep space.
“The more than 5,000 planets found to date include small, rocky worlds such as Earth and gas giants much larger than Earth. Jupiterand “hot Jupiters” are in very close orbits around their stars.
“There are ‘super-terrestrial planets,’ which are potentially rocky worlds larger than our own, and”Mini Neptune“Smaller versions of Neptune are our system,” JPL officials added. “Add to the mix the planets orbiting two stars simultaneously and the planets stubbornly orbiting the remnants of dead, collapsing stars.”
The NASA Exoplanet Archive It is based at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). To be added to the index, the planets must be independently confirmed in two different ways, and the work must be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The first exoplanets were found in the early 1990s. While telescopes on Earth and in space have done well bringing the number to 5,000 since then, Jesse Christiansen, lead science at NASA’s Archives of Exoplanets, advertiser On the Caltech website I’ve found Worlds so far “mostly in this little bubble around our solar system, where it’s easy to find.”
“from 5000 outer planets It is known that 4,900 light-years from us lie a few thousand light-years away.” If you extrapolate from the little bubble around us, it means that there are many planets in our galaxy that we haven’t found yet, up to 100 to 200 billion. It’s an order just awesome “.
The first confirmed planetary discovery came in 1992, when astronomers Alex Wolszczan and Dale Frail published research on Nature Magazine. They observed two worlds orbiting a pulsar (a dense, fast-spinning corpse of a star) by measuring subtle changes in the timing of the pulsations as the light reached Earth.
Ground-based telescopes did the heavy lifting in those early years, and it took several more searches to finally reveal the first planet orbiting a sun-like star in 1995. This world was not hospitable to life as we know it; It was a super-hot gas giant that orbited its parent star in just four days on Earth.
Astronomers have found these worlds by observing the oscillations of stars (back and forth due to motions caused by gravity) as planets drag on them. The larger worlds were easier to detect, as they cause larger oscillations. Astronomers at the time said that to find more Earth-sized planets, they would need to try something called the “transit” method. This will assess the star’s light and look for small fluctuations as a planet passes through the face.
Astronomer William Borucki helped realize this vision as NASA’s principal investigator kepler space telescopewhich was launched in 2009 and exceeded its main mission by several years until it finally ran out of fuel in 2018. 2700 Planet Discovery To date, many are Earth-size or smaller worlds, and they still have a database that generates new discoveries to this day.
Many other tools have joined the hunt for the planet since Kepler’s launch. On Earth, the HARPS spectrometer, part of the 11.8-foot (3.6-meter) telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, is a skilled planet hunter.
By 2011 (eight years after the first light), HARPS . discovered Over 150 exoplanets. while accessed periodically restricted In recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic, HARPS is still operating and continues to search for new worlds in high definition.
In space, many observatories also assist in the search for planets, among them NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Reconnaissance Satellite (he-goat), the European Space Agency (NASA) Hubble Space TelescopeThe European Space Agency (ESA) satellite that characterizes the exoplanets (Chips). Several other massive telescopes under construction on Earth, including the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile, are slated to be operational later this decade, adding other strong eyes to the ongoing research.
Webb will help advance exoplanet statistics by study of the atmosphere From several worlds relatively close in detail. While such work might focus largely on gas giants, scientists say Webb’s observations will be useful for a future generation of observatories with more high-power optics ready to see planets closer in size to Earth.
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