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A third watery exoplanet has been discovered going from a "surprise" to the star Nu2 Lupi - Observer

A third watery exoplanet has been discovered going from a “surprise” to the star Nu2 Lupi – Observer

An international study, involving researchers from the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA), through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Cheops satellite, has found a third exoplanet “water“to move from”SurpriseAsterisk Nu2 Lupi.

In a statement, the International Space Agency said on Monday that when studying the star Nu2 Lupi and its two closest planets, the Khufu satellite found “one outer planetThe statement said that “a watery planet with an orbit of more than 100 days appeared by surprise in the Khufu data, which is also passing through a star” of a planetary system close to Earth.

At a distance of 48 light-years from Earth, the star Nu2 Lupi belongs to the constellation Lobo (Lupi) and is bright enough to be visible with the naked eye. Its three known planets (Nu2 Lupi b, Nu2 Lupi c, and Nu2 Lupi d) were discovered in 2019 by the HARPS spectrometer, installed on the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) 3.6-meter telescope.

Subsequent observations, using NASA’s TESS satellite, showed that the two closest planets (with orbits of 11.6 and 27.6 days, respectively) were transiting the star, “but it was not known that planet ‘d’, with an orbit of about 107 days, also passed in front of its star” . “If it revolves around the Sun, Nu2 Lupi d would lie between the orbits of Mercury and VenusAI says.

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Quoting the statement, Susana Barros, a researcher at the IA and University of Porto School of Sciences (FCUP), says the study of exoplanets, along with transit routes and radial velocities, allows “measuring their diameter and inclination of the orbit and then calculating the mass”. “Knowing the mass and diameter of the planet, we can put limits on its formation, that is, the amount of rock, ice and gases that it consists of,” the researcher adds.

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Sergio Souza, an IA and FCUP researcher and one of the Portuguese representatives in the Cheops consortium, notes that despite being a small ESA mission, the satellite “continues to demonstrate its enormous potential by capturing this unlikely transit of the planet’s long-duration Nu2 Lupi system.”

This high optical resolution is only possible because we are making observations outside our atmosphere, while trying to understand and correct systematic errors in the instruments, a feature of Khufu’s observations,” he says.

The high resolution of Khufu allowed researchers to determine that Planet D is about 2.5 times the diameter of Earth, but its mass is 8.8 times that of our planet.

“Its composition would be similar to that of Planet C, both of which are watery planets, and participate in the atmospheres of hydrogen and helium,” says IA, adding that it is estimated that “about a quarter of the composition of both [exoplanetas] It will be formed from water.”That’s why they will have more water than land“, Confirms.

The Khufu Consortium, led by Switzerland and the European Space Agency, participates in 11 European countries, with a participation in Portugal led by the IA. Portugal’s participation in this consortium is part of a more comprehensive strategy aimed at strengthening the search for exoplanets in our country, through the construction, development and scientific definition of various space instruments and missions such as the Cheops or ESPRESSO Spectrograph, which is already operating at the Paranal Observatory (ESO).

The strategy will continue in the coming years, with the launch of the PLATO Space Telescope and the installation of the HIRES spectrometer,”In the next generation’s largest telescope, the ELT“.

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