October 26, 2021

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Científicos obtienen imágenes de un sistema planetario que permite vislumbrar el futuro del sistema solar

Scientists obtain images of a planetary system that provide a glimpse into the future of the solar system

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October 14, 2021 10:04 GMT

So far, despite the fact that some studies have confirmed that Jovian-type planets can survive the death of their stars, observational evidence has been scarce.

An international group of scientists with the participation of the Andalusian Institute for Astrophysics (Granada, Spain) published on October 13 in the journal Nature a. study They report the discovery of a system consisting of a white dwarf star and a planet similar to Jupiter, allowing A glimpse into the possible future of the solar system.

Using high-resolution images obtained by the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, researchers have determined that the newly discovered white dwarf has 60% of the mass of the sunand that its outer planet is a “gas giant world” that has a mass 40% more than Jupiter. The planet revolves around the star in a wide orbit, at a distance of at least three times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

According to estimates by the scientific community, in about 5,000 million years the Sun will begin its phase red giant As the fuel runs out, it will sink under its own weight. This process will cause the outer layers to heat up and expand, Flooding the orbits of Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth. Then another phase begins in which the atmosphere expands freely, forming a planetary nebula in the middle of which the nucleus will remain, as long as the sun was shining, becoming the so-called white dwarf star.

So far, despite the fact that some studies have confirmed that Jovian-type planets can survive the death of their stars, observational evidence has been scarce.

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However, this latest discovery “confirms that the planets orbit at a sufficiently large distance.” They can continue to exist after their star dies‘, depending on pointing to Joshua Blackman, lead author of the study and researcher at the University of Tasmania (Australia), who adds that “this system is an analogue of our solar system and suggests that Jupiter and Saturn could survive in the red giant phase of the Sun.”

For her part, a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics, Camila Danilsky, who was also involved in the discovery, explained that “97% of the stars in our galaxy will become white dwarfsHe concludes, “This discovery and what follows will allow us to peek into the future of exoplanets.”

In the short term, the team of scientists plans to include their findings in a statistical study to find out how many other white dwarfs have survived the planets.