Astronomers Discover Planet “With No Known Equivalent” Located Close to Us

Astronomers Discover Planet “With No Known Equivalent” Located Close to Us
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Scientists estimate that there are planets in almost all of the solar systems out there. In other words, every time you spot a shiny star, it can also mean that a cluster of planets exists there as well.

Think about how many stars exist in the entire Universe. Our Milky Way galaxy, for instance, contains somewhere between 100 billion and 200 billion stars.

Considering that there are trillions of galaxies discovered, try to imagine for yourself how many planets could there be out there in this apparently infinite amount of space we all live in. It’s staggering, we know.

Each of those planets must be unique in its own way. But some of those planetary objects stand out firmly, and one of them meets the subject of this article.

Meet the Nu2 Lupi star

Nu2 Lupi is a star similar to our Sun that’s located in the Lupus constellation, meaning only about 50 light-years away from our planet. According to SciTechDaily, the Cheops satellite of the European Space Agency detected a third planet revolving around the Nu2 Lupi star.

The transit of the newfound planet in the front of its host star, as from the astronomers’ perspective, uncovers unexpected details. The planet is “with no known equivalent”, according to astronomers.

The discovery marks the first time a planet beyond our solar system with a period of over 100 days was found as it transits a bright enough star to be visible with the naked eye.

Laetitia Delrez, who is the lead author of the new study, declared as quoted by SciTech Daily:

Transiting systems such as Nu2 Lupi are of paramount importance in our understanding of how planets form and evolve, as we can compare several planets around the same bright star in detail,

We set out to build on previous studies of Nu2 Lupi and observe planets b and c crossing the face of Nu2 Lupi with Cheops, but during a transit of planet c we spotted something amazing: an unexpected transit by planet ‘d’, which lies further out in the system.

Giving that the unique planet exists in a solar system from 50 light-years away, it practically means “next-door” judging at an astronomical scale.

The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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