Newfound Frozen World Orbits in Binary Star System

Searching for Earth like planets – Newly spotted frozen world orbits in a binary star system

Newfound-Frozen-World-Orbits-in-Binary-Star-System
This artist’s rendering shows a newly discovered planet (far right) orbiting one star (right) of a binary star system. The discovery, made by a collaboration of international research teams and led by researchers at The Ohio State University, expands astronomers’ notions of where to look for planets in our galaxy. The research was funded in part by NASA. Image credit: Cheongho Han, Chungbuk National University, Republic of Korea

Scroll down for video

A newly discovered planet in a binary, or twin, star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth is expanding astronomers’ notions of where Earth-like — and even potentially habitable — planets can form, and how to find them.

At twice the mass of Earth, the planet orbits one of the stars in the binary system at almost exactly the same distance at which Earth orbits the sun. However, because the planet’s host star is much dimmer than the sun, the planet is much colder than Earth — a little colder, in fact, than Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

See also: Nearby Earth-like planet found – Gliese 832c

Four international research teams, led by professor Andrew Gould of The Ohio State University in Columbus, published their discovery in the July 4 issue of the journal Science. The research is partly funded by NASA.

The study provides the first evidence that terrestrial planets can form in orbits similar to Earth’s, even in a binary star system where the stars are not very far apart. Although this planet itself is too cold to be habitable, the same planet orbiting a sun-like star in such a binary system would be in the so-called “habitable zone” — the region where conditions might be right for life.

“This greatly expands the potential locations to discover habitable planets in the future,” said Scott Gaudi, professor of astronomy at Ohio State. “Half the stars in the galaxy are in binary systems. We had no idea if Earth-like planets in Earth-like orbits could even form in these systems.”

Earlier evidence that planets form in binary star systems came from NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes, but the planets and dust structures in those studies were not similar to those of Earth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME47vKH_Dig

The technique astronomers use to find the planet, called OGLE-2013-BLG-0341LBb, is called gravitational microlensing. In this method, the light of a distant star is magnified by a closer star that happens to pass in front — if a planet is also present around the foreground star, it will further alter and distort the light of the background star. The telescopes used in this study are part of several projects, including the OGLE (Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment), MOA (Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics), MicroFUN (the Microlensing Follow Up Network), and the Wise Observatory.

See also: Ancient Earth-sized ‘diamond’ discovered in space

Searching for planets within binary systems is tricky for most techniques, because the light from the second star complicates the interpretation of the data. “But in gravitational microlensing,” Gould explained, “we don’t even look at the light from the star-planet system. We just observe how its gravity affects light from a more distant, unrelated star. This gives us a new tool to search for planets in binary star systems.”

NASA’s proposed WFIRST-AFTA (Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope – Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets) mission would use the microlensing technique to find and characterize hundreds of thousands of planets in binary systems.

Source | JPL

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Scientists Turn Algae into Usable Fuel

Alternative fuel: Algae could replace petroleum fuels. Scientists Turn Algae into Usable Fuel in Less than an Hour Algae has already been touted as a natural...

Charge your phone by SHOUTING at it!

Gadget converts sound waves from speech into five volts of energy for your mobile phone It seems phone batteries always die at the same moment...

The bike [velomobile] that could let you pedal as fast as a CAR

Human-powered velomobiles are meant to be a quirky alternative to cars. But because these pedal-powered machines can't go as fast, these vehicles have up until...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Bombs Have Been Dropped in Nevada – U.S. is Responsible

Apparently, America is now using Nevada's land to test bombs. With each passing day, the U.S. continues to follow their own personal agenda. A report did reveal...

Oklahoma High Schooler’s Carbon Discovery Elicits Wonder From Experts

Taking teenage rebellion to a new level, Oklahoma high school senior George Wang stunned teachers and fellow students when in April he co-authored a...

Scientists Turn Algae into Usable Fuel

Alternative fuel: Algae could replace petroleum fuels. Scientists Turn Algae into Usable Fuel in Less than an Hour Algae has already been touted as a natural...

Has NASA found a new Earth-like planet ?

Astronomer discovers first same-sized planet in a 'Goldilocks zone' that could host alien life The hunt for alien life has been given a boost after...

Weed-Killing Robot Developed: No Herbicides Needed

Could a new robot developed by the German company, Bosch, known for making car parts and power tools in partnership with the German food...

Alien Planet 17 Times Heavier Than Earth

'Godzilla of Earths': Alien Planet 17 Times Heavier Than Our World Discovered BOSTON – Scientists have just discovered the "Godzilla of Earths" — a new...

$1.5 billion Supercomputer to simulate the Human Brain

The over a period of ten years Human Brain Project, will seek to understand and map the brain structure and function, and aim to...

Are GMOs All Bad? The Truth about GMOs

One of the hottest and most controversial issues in the world today is genetic engineering. With protests against Monsanto on May 25th in over...

Solar Roads Being Tested At 100 Sites In 2017

A French company named Colas is planning to test over 100 different sites in 2017 for their solar road technology called Wattway Solar Roads...

How To Win The War For Your Mind

All battles, all wars, all fistfights and bar brawls, all conflicts in every place and in every time (except those conflicts in which both...