[Epoch Times October 15, 2021]The aging and death of stars is a huge disaster for the planets in their planetary system. Due to the large amount of radiation and even explosion impact caused by the death of stars, most planets cannot survive.
But there are exceptions to everything. Astronomers recently discovered the first confirmed planetary system, in which a planet survived the catastrophe of star death and still orbits the white dwarf formed after the star’s death.
This planetary system consists of a planet the size of Jupiter and a white dwarf star. The orbit of the planet is similar to Jupiter, orbiting a white dwarf near the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
The lead author of the study and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tasmania in Australia, Joshua Blackman (Joshua Blackman) said in a statement: The stars of dies can continue to exist.” “Given that this system is similar to our own solar system, this suggests that Jupiter and Saturn may survive the red giant phase of the sun.”
“The future of the earth may not be so optimistic, because it is closer to the sun.” The co-author of the paper, David Bennett of the University of Maryland, said in the above statement. Before the supergiant stage blows up the earth, we move to a moon of Jupiter or Saturn, and we will still stay in orbit around the sun, although we will not be able to rely on the heat from the sun because it has been a white dwarf for a long time. “
White dwarfs are created after the death of stars like the sun. In the final stage of the star’s life cycle, the star burns all the hydrogen in its core and then expands into a red giant star. Then it collapses into a white dwarf star on its own, leaving only a hot, dense core there. White dwarfs are usually the size of the Earth and have only half the mass of the sun.
Because these dense star bodies are small and no longer have nuclear fuel to emit bright radiation, white dwarfs are very dim and difficult to detect.
The high-resolution near-infrared image obtained by the laser guide star adaptive optics system and its near-infrared camera (NIRC2) at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, USA shows that the newly discovered white dwarf is about the mass of the sun 60%, its exoplanet survivor is a huge gaseous planet, 40% more massive than Jupiter.
The research team discovered the planet using a phenomenon called gravitational microlensing. When a star close to the earth temporarily aligns with a star farther away, a phenomenon occurs, that is, the gravitational force from a star closer to us will distort the light, like a lens, magnifying the light from the distant star.
If there is also a planet orbiting a closer star at the same time, it will temporarily distort the amplified light as it passes by the star.
Strangely, when the research team tried to find the host star of this planet, they accidentally discovered that the starlight was not bright enough to become an ordinary main sequence star. Data analysis also ruled out the possibility of brown dwarfs as hosts.
“We have also been able to rule out the possibility of a neutron star or a black hole host. This means that the planet is orbiting a dead star, a white dwarf star.” The co-author of the paper, Jean-Philip Boli of the University of Tasmania Professor Jean-Philippe Beaulieu said in the above statement, “It gives us a glimpse into the future of our solar system, after our planet is destroyed by the catastrophic destruction of the sun.”
The research team plans to incorporate their findings into a statistical study to understand how many other white dwarfs have complete planetary survivors. More observations in the future will allow astronomers to determine whether Jupiter-like planets can generally survive the extinction of their stars, or most planets will also follow the host star’s destruction.
The paper for this new study was published in the October 13th issue of the journal Nature.
Editor in charge: Lin Yan#