New Planets Discovered During K2 Mission

Feb 19, 2018, 00:37
New Planets Discovered During K2 Mission

Exoplanet is a field of astronomy since 1995 when a planet which was outside our solar system was discovered by 2 astronomers: Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz.

The first data from the K2 was released in 2014, with the latest findings released in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal.

The transit can be identified with the help of recording the dips in light caused by the shadow of an exoplanet as it crosses in front of its parent star. For four years, the spacecraft stared continuously at about 150,000 stars, looking for tiny dips in their brightness caused by the passage of planets across their faces. "But we also detected planets that range from sub Earth-sized to the size of Jupiter and larger", said Mayo.

Of the almost 100 new exoplanets, one circles a very bright star and completes an orbit around star in 10 days. According to the statement made by Andrew Mayo of the University of Denmark, K2 found a star named "HD21267" and a planet orbiting it completing an orbit in 10 days.

The original Kepler mission began in 2009 when the space observatory was launched into orbit around the Earth to hunt for new exoplanets in a particular patch of the sky.

However, astronomers and engineers devised a way to repurpose and save the space telescope by changing its field of view periodically.

But mission managers figured out a way to stabilize Kepler using sunlight pressure, and the spacecraft soon embarked on its K2 mission, which involves exoplanet hunting on a more limited basis, as well as observing comets and asteroids in our own solar system, supernovas and a range of other objects and phenomena.

An worldwide team of researchers made the discovery while analyzing 275 potential exoplanet candidates that showed up in the Kepler data during the spacecraft's second mission, called K2. That includes finding rocky Earth-sized planets that might be capable of supporting life.

"The follow up K2 mission, on the other hand, has provided us with a great deal of interesting individual planets and systems that we can now start to study in greater detail".

"Planets around brilliant stars are vital in light of the fact that space experts can take in a considerable measure about them from ground-based observatories".

The scientists from institutions including Nasa, Caltech, the University of California Berkeley, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of Tokyo, were able to determine the radius of each planet, its distance from its host star and its orbital period, as well as other parameters.

The exoplanet disclosures by NASA's Kepler space telescope continue coming in.

The star system sits roughly 2,545 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco, and of the new planets found, Kepler 90i is the 'smallest of the bunch'. Some planets have also been discovered recently outside the Milky Way.