At the end of an average earth day, another year has already ended somewhere else – New Year’s Eve every evening! On exoplanet GJ 367 b, which is 31 light-years from Earth, there are only eight hours a year, the relatively small and very light planet orbits its parent star, a red dwarf named GJ 367, in a good third of Earth’s day. The star is located in the constellation Sail in the southern hemisphere, so it is not visible from the northern hemisphere.
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In our solar system, Mercury is the fastest planet, it only needs 88 days to revolve around the sun, but compared to GJ 367 b it is also a snail. The celestial body is one of the lightest known planets in our galaxy around 5,000 exoplanets: it is ultra-light and extremely fast, which distinguishes it from other previously known exoplanets.
With a mass of only half the mass of Earth, it is one of the lightest distant planets – with a diameter of about 9,000 km, it is somewhat larger than Mars.
A team of 78 researchers participated
An international team of 78 researchers discovered the planet in 2019 with the help of the TESS space telescope. The researchers have now succeeded in measuring the small, high-speed instrument through further observations at ESO’s European Southern Observatory in Chile with a previously unattainable level of precision – and in determining its internal characteristics.
The research group was led by Kristen W. F. Lamm and Szilárd Csizmadia from Planetary Research Institute From the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin Adlershof. your results were It was published on Thursday in the journal “Science”..
One of the special achievements of the research group lies in the high accuracy with which they were able to measure the radius and mass of the high-speed machine. This provides important information about its nature, which in turn could advance astronomers’ search for a second Earth.
A rocky planet for sure
“From the precise determination of its radius and mass, GJ 367 b can be classified with certainty as a rocky planet,” explains Christine Lamm. In terms of size and composition, it reminds researchers of Mercury, which makes it one of the terrestrial planets, that is, celestial bodies similar to Earth.
According to the researchers’ knowledge, a rocky, low-mass planet has a higher density than Earth. “High density indicates an iron core,” Szilard Sismadia explains. In this capacity, too, it would be similar to Mercury, which differs from other terrestrial bodies in our solar system with its disproportionately large iron-nickel core.
GJ 367 b belongs to the group of planets with very short periods (USP), which orbit their sun in less than 24 hours. “We already know some of them, but their origin is still unknown,” Lamm says. “By carefully identifying the core properties, we have insight into how the system is configured and developed.”
By careful investigations and a combination of different assessment methods, astronomers were able to very accurately determine the radius and mass, which, of course, is not an issue for exoplanets: the radius is 72% of the radius of the Earth, and the mass is 55% of the mass of the Earth.
The planet orbits closely around its parent star
The young, fast-paced sprinter is very close to his parent star. As a result, it is exposed to much higher radiation than Earth. The researchers hypothesize that the radiation is 500 times stronger.
As a result, the surface temperature on the side of the planet facing the star can range between 1,300 and 1,500 degrees Celsius. At such temperatures all rocks and minerals melt. “GJ 367 b is definitely not a ‘second Earth,'” the astronomers concluded: Inside.
The work was created as part of DFG-Schwerpunktprogramm “Exploring the Diversity of Extrasolar Planets”, which is coordinated from Berlin by Heike Rauer via TU Berlin and supports 51 research projects in Germany. There have already been a number of publications. The study was published on GJ 367b recently.
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