Astrophysicists have discovered a “close” planetary system to Earth consisting of six planets orbiting their star in sync, as if dancing a waltz, the scientific journal Nature reported today.
The six planets, which may have been performing the same “rhythmic dance” since the planetary system formed billions of years ago, orbit the star HD110067, located about 100 light-years from Earth, in the Capileira de Berenice constellation.
According to the authors of the research, led by Spanish astrophysicist Rafael Luque, from the University of Chicago in the United States, this rare planetary system could provide new clues about the formation and evolution of planets.
“This discovery will become a reference for studying how “neop-Neptunian planets”, the most common type of planets outside the solar system, form and evolve, what they are made of and whether they have the right conditions to support liquid water on their surfaces. chicago.
Observations of the six planets were made using the North American TESS space telescope and the reading data were combined with information collected by the European CHEOPS space telescope.
The exoplanet in question is in a state of orbital resonance, which occurs when two or more celestial bodies in orbit exert a gravitational influence on each other.
In this case, the planet closest to the star HD110067 completes three orbits for every two that the next planet does, a pattern that is repeated among the four planets closest to the star.
Among the planets farthest from HD110067, a pattern of four orbits is repeated twice for every three orbits made by the next planet.
“We think only about one percent of all systems [planetários] They remain in resonance, and a smaller number show a series of planets in this configuration,” noted astrophysicist Raphael Luke, adding that the “original configuration” of the HD110067 system “remained unchanged.”
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