Home » today » World » This exoplanet is very similar to Earth – 2024-04-21 05:57:27

This exoplanet is very similar to Earth – 2024-04-21 05:57:27

Information about the origin of the Earth is not only within our planet, we can also find it light years away, on similar exoplanets that can offer data on the formation of this type of celestial bodies.

Astronomers of the University of Warwickin the United Kingdom, and the Institute of Astrophysics in Paris, discovered in a study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics a small, cold exoplanet and its enormous outer companion, which sheds light on the formation of planets like Earth.

The discovery includes a planet with a radius and mass between those of the Tierra and Neptune, with a potential orbit around its host star of 146 days. The star system also contains a large outer companion, with a mass 100 times that of Jupiter.


“(The planet) HD88986b “It has a radius and mass between those of Earth and Neptune, and potentially transits in front of its bright host star every 5 months,” Neda Heidari, an Iranian postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Astrophysics in Paris, explained to Metro.

The new planetary system was discovered around the star HD88986, which has a temperature similar to that of the Sunwith a slightly larger radius, and is bright enough to be seen by keen observers from some points on Earth.

“It orbits a star with a temperature similar to that of the Sun, “which makes it a precursor to Earth-like planets,” said Thomas Wilson, from the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick.

According to the research, this is a rare discovery, since exoplanets smaller and lighter than Neptune and Uranus are very difficult to detect and only a few have been identified to date. These rare systems are especially interesting to better understand the planetary formation and evolution; They are believed to be a key step in detecting Earth-like planets around stars.

“(Planet HD88986b) becomes one of the best-studied small, cold exoplanets, paving the way to study its atmosphere and understand the similarity to our planet Earth.”

Thomas Wilson, Department of Physics, University of Warwick

HD88986b was detected using SOPHIE, a high precision spectrograph (a machine that analyzes the wavelengths of light from exoplanets) at the Haute-Provence Observatory (France). SOPHIE detects and characterizes exoplanets using the “radial velocity method”, which measures small variations in the motion of the star, induced by the planets that orbit it.

Astronomers also discovered a second outer companion around the central star. This exoplanet is particularly massive (more than 100 times the mass of Jupiter) and its orbit has a period of several tens of years, which may have been important for the formation of HD88986b.


It takes days for the discovered exoplanet to orbit its host star.

Main features of HD88986b

-This small, cold planet is smaller than Neptune.

-Orbits around the star HD88986.

-It has a radius and mass located between those of the Earth and Neptune.

-Its diameter is approximately double that of the Earth.

-It has an atmospheric temperature of only 190 degrees Celsius.

3 questions to…

Neda Heidari,

Iranian postdoctoral fellow at the Paris Institute of Astrophysics.

Q: How did your interest in astronomy and the discovery of planets arise?

–It was in a small library at my school in Arak (Iran) where I discovered my space and scientific dream; I was a bookseller there just to benefit from unlimited access to the science fiction section and the books of Jules Verne, whose curiosity and visionary spirit inspired me. I maintained my interest and studied astronomy in college. Among the different fields of astronomy, exoplanets, this fascinating field of study, gave me vertigo: after the discovery of several planets, the universe seems so big, and what is our place in it? What was science fiction – finding twin Earths, perhaps even harboring life – is now a science programme. That is why I chose the area of ​​exoplanets, because I want to be part of the effort to find the answer to one of the great fundamental questions of the humanities: Are we alone in the universe? Is the Earth unique?

Q: Why is HD88986b considered a rare discovery?

–Among all the planets we have discovered with precise mass and radius measurements, there is a bias toward planets with short orbits. Only ~1% of these exoplanets have orbits longer than 40 days, while Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, has an orbital period of 88 days. The lack of discoveries of this population represents a challenge for research into planetary demography, formation and evolution. The most notable aspect of the inner planet, HD88986b, is that it potentially holds the record for the longest period among well-studied small planets to date.

Q: Why does this planet shed light on the formation of planets?

Because of its long orbit, it suffered little mass loss from the central star’s strong ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, it could have preserved its original chemical composition, allowing the formation and evolution of this planetary system. These scenarios must take into account the presence of the massive companion. Furthermore, with an atmospheric temperature of “only” 190 degrees Celsius, the planet HD88986b offers a rare opportunity to study the composition of so-called “cold” atmospheres, since most atmospheres detected on exoplanets exceed 1,000 degrees Celsius.

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