Astronomers already know about the LHS1140 planetary system about 41 light-years away from the Earth, but thanks to new data provided by NASA’s TESS space observatory and Chile’s Southern European Observatory’s ESPRESSO instrument, they found that one of the planets seems to have a large amount of liquid water. The name is LHS1140 b, and it is an ideal exoplanet for searching for biomarkers.
by Astrobiology Center (taxi, INTA-CSIC) has studied the LHS1140 planetary system in detail. The results confirmed the existence of two planets and implied the existence of two other objects.
One of the two known planets, LHS1140 b, Located in the habitable zone of its star, this is a red dwarf star five times smaller than our sun, and, Ocean of water liquid Cover its surface. This makes it an ideal target for finding biomarkers or signs of life.
Nearest planet LHS1140 c, orbits the star every 3.8 days, and LHS1140 b orbits the star every 24.7 days. The planetary system is located in the constellation Cetus, about 41 light-years away from the earth.
New observations of the system, published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, Made from the latest generation of instruments Strong coffee, Installed in the VLT telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile, and installed together with the space observatory Tais From NASA.
The data helps to obtain very accurate values of the mass and radius of the two planets (LHS1140 b is 6.5 Earth mass and 1.7 Earth radius, LHS1140 c is 1.8 Earth mass and 1.3 Earth radius), so that not only can the density be calculated (with two The Earth on each planet is identical), but also describes their internal composition (ie, the distribution of the planet’s core, mantle, and crust, and the amount of liquid water they can hold).
For LHS1140b, the calculation points to a surface covered by an ocean of liquid water.As shown in Jorge Lillo-BoxCAB researchers and the lead author of the study said: “This is a planet located in a habitable zone, which can more accurately quantify the potential amount of liquid water present, which makes LHS1140b one of the best planetary biomarkers for finding planets. “.
The third exoplanet and exoplanet
The high accuracy of the data also allows researchers to find another potential planet in the system, LHS1140 d, The mass is 4.8 earth mass, and the orbital period is 78.9 days. The planet is located a little further away from the habitable zone of the star, and has a composition at the boundary between rock and gas.
Finally, as TROY project The data has been studied in detail to find co-orbiting or exogenous companions of planets in the same orbit. Studies have shown that the innermost planet (LHS1140 c) may have one of these co-orbiting partners. It is one of the first exogenous Trojans discovered so far, but more detailed research and more observations are needed to confirm this exoticism.
Schematic diagram of the LHS1140 planetary system, with two planets LHS1140 confirmed by LHS1140 c, and a possible third planet LHS1140 d. / J. Lillo-Box
“The LHS1140 planetary system is our ideal choice for atmospheric characterization of rocky planets. “The innermost planet must have a high content of water vapor, and the planets in the habitable zone must exhibit very different atmospheric characteristics, and may allow searching for things such as Biomarkers such as ozone or methane. “
The LHS1140 planetary system contains the types of planets the experiment will look for KobeThis is a legacy program of the Calal Alto Observatory (CAHA). It is precisely Lillo-Box who is the main researcher. The program will try to find the habitable area of stars that are hotter than LHS1140 but cooler than our sun planet.
These stars provide a unique opportunity to search for life because although their activity is much lower than that of colder stars, their habitability regions are closer than solar-type stars.
The program will start in 2021 and end in 2023, and the instrument will be used Carmen Installed in CAHA’s 3.5-meter telescope. For CAB researcher and research co-author David Barrado Navascués, “The LHS1140 planetary system should be the Rosetta stone for exoplanet atmosphere research.”
“In this sense,” he added, ” James Webb Space TelescopeIt will be launched in 2021, and due to its scale and instrumentation, it will play a key role in these future studies. Specifically, Mid-infrared instrument (MIRI)Developed by a European consortium with the participation of the European National Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (INTA), will be the key to achieving this goal. “
J. LilloBox, P. Figueira, A. Leleu, L. Acuña, JP Faria, N. Hara, NC Santos, ACM Correia, P. Robutel, M. Deleuil, D. Barrado, S. Sousa, X. Bonfils, O. Mousis, JM Almenara, N. Astudillo-Defru, E. Marcq, S. Udry, C. Lovis y F. Pepe. “ESPRESSO and TESS re-examined the LHS 1140 planetary system.” A&A Volume 642, October 2020 https://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/202038922