Exoplanets aren’t something that astronomers can find every day, that’s for sure. But when they do, they remain astonished, and not just for the discovery itself. Exoplanets can have certain features that defy the expectations of scientists. PhysicsWorld.com tells us about an international team of astronomers finding exoplanets orbiting at right angles to one another.
Led by Vincent Burrier of the University of Geneva, the international team in charge suspects that what’s causing the peculiar cosmic situation is a mysterious space object that also orbits the host star of the exoplanets, according to the same source.
Understanding more about planetary systems
Astronomers can learn more about planetary systems as they study the relative orientation of spins of stars and their planets’ orbits. Scientists use the ingenious method of measuring the exoplanets’ trajectories as they pass in front of their host stars. They further compare the results with a measurement of the star’s spin.
Although the first exoplanet was discovered almost three decades ago, astronomers discovered only about 4,800 such objects. However, a record number of 301 exoplanets were found by astronomers “all at once” by using a new scientific method named ExoMiner, according to recent work revealed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Finding exoplanets is important in the search for alien life beyond our own planet and Solar System.
Jon Jenkins from the Ames Research Center, declared as cited by jpl.nasa.gov:
Unlike other exoplanet-detecting machine learning programs, ExoMiner isn’t a black box – there is no mystery as to why it decides something is a planet or not,
We can easily explain which features in the data lead ExoMiner to reject or confirm a planet.
Feel free to tell us how you think the search for exoplanets will continue! The comment section is available for anybody who’s willing to leave an opinion!