An exoplanet surprises itself with observations of the Cheops satellite

Représentation d'une exoplanète gravitant autour de son étoile. ©AdobeStock

An article published on June 28 reports an unexpected observation of a large X-planet on the Cheops satellite. The instrument studied two planets orbiting a star 2 light-years away.

This is an unexpected event, and it brings joy Astronomers. In a study published on June 28th Natural astronomy, Dr. A team of researchers, led by Lotitia del‌res, describes the observations made by the satelliteThat’s it Chiops (pour The nature of the Explanets satellite Or satellite characterization of exoplanets). The second recorded information about the two planets passing in front of themStar One-third of the New 2 Lupi, 48 light-years away in the Wolf constellation, were invited to the party. Researchers have not hesitated to qualify it as a “photobomb” (the sudden and unpredictable disbelief of an element in a photo). Star. The third is called Nu2 Lupi d exoplanet The system should not initially pass in front of its star. This welcome program allowed researchers to study its structure as well Its physical and chemical properties.

A rare planet, “unparalleled”

The three planets orbiting the New 2 Lupi are listed as “B”, “C” and “D” in 2019, respectively. Harps (High Accuracy Radial Speed ​​Planet Search). Exoplanet tracker Tess Their orbital parameters were established, determining that two stars were passing in front of them from time to time. However, if scientists knew about the existence of the planet d, no Astronomer Its appearance in the field of view was not expected Du Satellite Chiops. The latter studied B and C and were able to determine their structure with the aim of collecting data.

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The passage of Exoplanet D in front of the New 2 Lupe allowed researchers to jump into its study opportunity. Atmosphere And its structure. Each planet has its own characteristics and gravity a short distance from the star, a Revolutionary period Planet B has 11.6 days, Sick has 27.6 days and Dick has 107.2.

David Ehrenrich, a professor at the University of Geneva, did not hesitate to qualify for the Third World by working at Chiops. However, their proximity to the New 2 Lupi prevents these exoplanets from sustaining life. they have Geography In particular, the three categories ” Superteras “.One for each Mass Between 4.62 and 11.29 The mass of the land. Analysis of their atmosphere made it possible to determine their structure. Planet B is mostly rock, and C and D are covered by water. It spreads on their surface in the form of ice or steam, which is strong Pressing Intense heat caused by a short distance from their star. At the same time, everything is wrapped up Gas And hydrogenHelium.

What is surprising and explains the rarity of these planets is mainly from one observation: the amount of water contained in matter C and D is about a quarter of their individual mass. On Earth, water represents 72% of the surface and only 0.1% of its total mass.

These accurate data were obtained thanks to a rigorous technique required to analyze the atmosphere of exoplanets: spectroscopy Route.

Structure of Exoplanets: Accurate Technology

The study of exoplanets leaves no room for accuracy. Astronomers have combined two methods to determine the structure of objects orbiting stars such as the New 2 loop: transit and spectroscopy. Radial velocity method.

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The first is allowed Tess on the satellite To attest to the existence of the planets B and C. By observing the star, its fluctuations can be explained Brightness Calculate the radial velocity of a celestial body by observing periodic periodsDoppler effect Because of the subject mentioned in Specter Of the star. It is possible to calculate Length Determine the revolution of an exoplanet and its mass.

As the B, C, and D exoplanets passed in front of their star, thanks to spectroscopy, Chiops were able to receive data about the structure of their atmosphere. This method makes it possible to observe the spectral structure of light emitted by the New 2 loop passing through layers of gas on the surface of these planets. One Spectrograph The received signals will be broken. Some of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by a star passes through a material that can absorb it Wavelengths. The Spectrometry This will help to determine the chemical composition of the crossed material, where the various components found on the surface of the New 2 loop B, C and D are.

With this observation of Chiops, if the studies on the New 2 loop system have made great progress, it is still a matter of questions. Researchers at the European Space Agency have already stated their intention to present itEye Of the satellite in three exoplanets.

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