Researchers from the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics (CSIC) led an international radio observation project of the planetary system closest to the Earth. The results confirmed that radio telescopes can be used to detect extrasolar planets.
For two decades, it has been known that the magnetic interaction between Jupiter and one of its main satellites, Io, will produce a large amount of Radio broadcast Similar to the Earth’s aurora (which, in turn, is produced by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with the Earth’s atmosphere).
After discovering the planet Next b Around the star closest to us, The next centaurFrom Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics (IAA-CSIC) It is proposed to check whether radio interactions also occur in the neighboring solar system.
The results are published in the journal Astronomy and AstrophysicsIs positive, so their discovery opened up a new path for the study of planets outside the solar system.
“The emission of this kind of radio waves is possible because of the special characteristics of the Proxima planetary system: it is much more active than our sun, and the Proxima b planet is very close to it; in fact, it is nearly ten times closer to the star than Mercury is to the sun. “, Miguel Pérez-Torres, Research led by IAA researchers.
Observing movement is related to Australian Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), Is a radio telescope composed of six 22-meter-long antennas, which lasted seventeen days on Earth. When Proxima b makes a complete revolution around its star every 11.2 days (much shorter than Earth’s 365-day orbit), the researchers observed that the launch of the Proxima planetary system is equivalent to one and a half years.
“We have detected radio emissions in most observation activities, and the emission time is more intensive. Another IAA co-author pointed out that when these maximum values are observed twice in each orbital period, when viewed from Earth, the The distance between the planet and the star is farther-pointed out Jose Francisco Gomez-The data we obtained are very consistent with the prediction model of the interaction between stars and planets.”
This is a pioneering work because it has shown for the first time that it is possible to detect the existence of planets outside the solar system by observing the periodic changes of the system with a radio telescope. “This opens up a new avenue for the study of other planets. In some cases, other technologies cannot detect this. When we consider the extremely sensitive radio telescopes under development (such as square kilometers), this is very promising. Array (SKA).”, which means Pérez-Torres.
This work also makes it possible to detect several Flashing on the radio In just a few minutes, in response to the short-lived activities on the stars, and Star flares Lasted for three days, its radio brightness was ten times higher than that of ordinary stars.
“In terms of the likelihood that Próximab can sustain life, these results are also interesting. For us, these radio wave flares must be strong enough to detect them, and some of them have been going on for several days. Life forms on Earth cannot survive these types of events.
Four years of observation
In 2016, International Red Dot Observation MovementThe IAA-CSIC participated in this study. Four telescopes were aimed at the star closest to us after the sun. They tried to detect this tiny gravitational A possible planet will act on Proxima Centauri, which forces it to draw a small orbit and causes its light to oscillate.
This is how Proxima b was discovered. Its minimum mass is equal to 1.3 times the mass of the earth, and it revolves around the star every 11.2 days in the habitable area or the area around the star, creating favorable conditions around the star to exist on the surface. liquid.
In 2017, IAA researchers discovered Dust belt Observe the vicinity of Proxima by ALMA interferometer. Similar to the Kuiper belt of our solar system, it represents the remaining material found in the formation of the planetary system closest to us.
In January 2020, thanks to data collected from Chile using a spectrometer, with the participation of the Andalusian Institute, it was announced that a second planet might be discovered near Proxima Centauri. Ultraviolet rays with harp, Belongs to the European Southern Observatory (ESO).
The observation period was as long as 17 years, and it was found that there was a signal period of 5.2 years. The signal was consistent with the existence of the second planet around Proxima Centauri, whose minimum mass was about six times that of the Earth.
“This type of project is feasible because experts in various fields of IAA (the physics of the planetary atmosphere of the solar system, stellar physics, the search and research of exoplanets, and the process of interstellar medium) have united and gained knowledge. He In summary, including theoretical models and observations of different wavelengths from radio to optics and infrared.” Anterson Alberti, IAA director also participated in this research.