Astronomers confirmed the exoplanet with a strange odd orbit, sort of like ‘Planet Nine’


Of the more than 4,300 confirmed exoplanets, most have been discovered to share date – a relatively close orbit to their host star.

Now, astronomers have found something extraordinary – a giant exoplanet on a bizarre, orbiting 15,000 years around a binary star. This is the first time scientists have marked such a large orbit.

The exoplanet is called HD 106906B, which is 11 times the mass of Jupiter. It orbits a pair of hot, main-sequence yellow-white stars called HD 106906; These stars are only 15 million years old and revolve around each other in just 100 days. The entire system is 336 light years away.

Although the location is very different from our own solar system, the massive orbit of HD 106906B is reminiscent of an elusive object astronomers are hoping to find closer to home – the imaginary, extremely wide orbit-planetary line.

“This system makes a potentially unique comparison with our solar system,” said astronomer Meiji Nguyen of the University of California, Berkeley.

“It is very widely separated from its host stars on a whimsical and highly misguided orbit, exactly like the prediction of the planet Mine.” [raises] The question of how these planets formed and ended in their current configuration. “

Most of the reasons for exoplanets that we find are relatively close to their stars are very simple, and we do this generally with the discovery and confirmation of exoplanets.

Two methods are most commonly used – the transit method, where the telescope looks for faint dips in a starlight as a orbiting exoplanet passes in front of it, known as transit; And the Wobble method, very small changes in the wavelength of a star’s light, as it is dug by the gravity of the exoplanet.

For both of these methods, a single dip in starlight or a single double can be anything; Astronomers generally require a few dips or wobbles at regular intervals to confirm an exoplanet.

So you can see why it would be difficult to confirm something on a large class; For example, Jupiter is in a 12-year orbit. So you have to stare at the sky for a while.

Direct image(NASA, ESA, M. Nguyen / UC Berkeley, R. D. Roja / ESO, and P. Kalas / UC Berkeley / Seti Institute)

But HD 106906B, first discovered in 2013, is a rare animal: an exoplanet that has been directly imaged. Most of the time the exoplanet is too faint and too close to its host star for this, but the distance of HD 106906B means that it does not disappear in the bright glow of its binary stars.

Nevertheless, working in the class of exoplanet was not easy. For that, a team of researchers needed the data from the Hubble Space Telescope. Going 14 years behind in the archives, he managed to get more data on the HD 106906 b’s slowly changing position at a distance of 737 astronomical units from his stars.

As you can imagine, an exoplanet in a 15,000-year orbit would not move much further in 14 years, but it was enough that astronomers could piece together the orbit.

The circumambulation period of 15,000 years is only part of what he learned. The other, more baffling part is that the exoplanet is at a higher orbital inclination – at a clear angle to the material debris disk around the two stars.

Nguyen said, “To shed light on why this is strange, we can just look at our solar system and see that all the planets are in almost the same plane.”

“It would be bizarre, if say, that Jupiter is just tilted 30 degrees relative to the plane that orbits every other planet. It raises all sorts of questions about how the HD 106906 b ended up in such an inclined orbit. “

One possibility is that HD 106906 b was not born to orbit binary stars. In this scenario, the exoplanet would have been a rogue, wandering the wandering space until it passed close enough to a star (or binary) to be orbited.

Another scenario – and one that the team is inclined towards – is that HD 106906B is formed in the debris disk of the binary. Initially, drag into the disk caused the exoplanet’s orbit to decay toward the star. There, in a close orbit, the gravitational injection between the two stars ejected the exoplanet from a very forward, highly inclined orbit, stabilized by a passing star.

Both scenarios can lead to an asymmetric, eccentric orbit that creates an irregularity seen in the debris disk orbiting the binary.

“It’s like arriving at the scene of a car accident, and you’re trying to recreate what happened,” said UC Berkeley astronomer Paul Kalas.

“Is it the stars passing through that are disturbing the planet, then the planet has reversed the disc? Is it the binary in the middle that first troubles the planet, and then it messes up the disk? Or the passing star. Trouble both the planet and the disk at the same time? Time! This is the work of astronomy espionage, collecting the necessary evidence to come up with some fanciful stories about whatever happened to us. “

And both scenarios have been proposed for Planet Nine (although in the case of Planet Nine, Jupiter kicked off), an imaginary solar system planet estimated to be about 5 to 10 times the mass of Earth, which is 300 From 700 astronomical units is in a class of approx. Sun.

There is significant doubt that Planet Nine exists, but HD 106906B not only implies that such a strange orbit is possible, but that it may occur relatively early in the life span of the planetary system.

But more work has to be done on HD 106906 b.

“There are still a lot of open questions about this system,” said Robert De Rosa, astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

“It is likely that both observers and theorists alike will study HD 106906 for years to come, revealing many mysteries of this remarkable planetary system.”

The research has been published in The Astronomical Journal.

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