Astronomers have discovered more than a hundred exoplanets at once


An international team of astronomers discovered and confirmed a large group of new planets. The researchers were able to produce this extraordinary discovery of exoplanets by combining the data obtained in the framework of the mission K2 space telescope “Kepler”, with the data obtained with ground-based telescopes, including the Observatory. Keck, Hawaii, telescopes-Gemini “Gemini”, Chile, the telescope is the Automated Planet Finder Observatories of the University of California, USA, and the Large binocular telescope, operated by the University of Arizona. The team was able to confirm more than 100 planets, including the first in the history of observations of the cosmos planetary system consisting of four planets similar to Earth.

The irony is that this planetary Klondike were opened to researchers after the guidance system of the space telescope “Kepler” is out of order. The fact that in 2013, after the failure of the gyroscopes, flywheels telescope, mission management made the decision to change scientific purposes “Kepler”. If before the telescope saw only a small portion of the sky, which were mostly the stars, like the Sun, in the framework of the new mission were expanded scientific purposes “Kepler”, which now included a large number of fainter stars, called red dwarfs, which are much wider than are common in our milky way galaxy than stars like the Sun.

One of the most interesting planetary systems discovered by scientists in the new study, was the system of the four, possibly rocky planets with sizes from 20 to 50 percent of the size of Earth and orbiting a star about the size of half the size of the Sun and much less bright than our star. The orbital periods of these planets range from 5.5 to 24 days, and for two of these planets, the level of illumination of the surface with light of the parent star is approximately the same as the level of illumination of the Earth’s surface by the Sun.

The study was published in the Astrophysical journal Supplement Series; the main author, Jan Crossfield from the laboratory of lunar and planetary University of Arizona.

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