It turns out that stars like our sun do not need to be alive and thriving to sustain life. Scientists say they have discovered a possible “giant planet” orbiting the dying sun that could potentially support life for future generations.
Researchers at University College London have discovered an “unexpected” discovery by observing a white dwarf, the shining remnant of a star that ran out of hydrogen fuel, 117 light-years away. This particular star, known as WD1054-226, is a circle of planetary debris in the habitable zone in its orbit, otherwise known as the Goldilocks zone, where temperature, theory As such, it allows the planet to have liquid water on its surface.
If the discovered object is confirmed to be a life-supporting planet, it will mark for the first time that the life-supporting planet has been found orbiting the dying sun.
The scientists made the discovery by measuring light from a white dwarf and published their findings in monthly notices. Royal Astronomical Society. He said he found a clear decrease in light, equivalent to 65 evenly spaced clouds of debris orbiting WD1054-226 every 25 hours.
“The moon-shaped structures we have observed are irregular and dusty (e.g. comet-like) rather than solid, spherical bodies,” said J. Frey, a professor of UCL physics and astronomy, the lead author of the study. Statement. The structures, he said, are currently a “mystery we cannot explain”, but offer a possible, and “unexpected” possibility: a nearby planet.
“An interesting possibility is that these objects are placed in an evenly spaced orbital pattern due to the gravitational effect of a nearby planet. Without this effect, friction and collisions will cause the structure to disperse, as observed. An example of this ‘shepherd’ is Neptune and the gravitational pull of the moon around Saturn helps to create stable circles orbiting these planets, “Frey added. He and his team “weren’t looking for it.”
The possibility of a “large planet” in the star’s habitable zone is interesting, but he stressed that such a planet has not yet been confirmed. Fareehi said his team still needed more evidence, which could be difficult because they could not observe the planet directly. Instead, they may have to rely on computer models with other observations of stars and orbiting debris to get a clear answer.
The team expects that if there really is a planet, it has only recently been formed – and that it will be able to live for at least 2 billion years, including at least 1 billion years in the future.
Their discovery could also help scientists gain a better understanding of our own solar system, as more than 95% of all stars, including our Sun, will eventually become white dwarfs.
“Because our sun will become a white dwarf in a few billion years,” said Farihi, “our study provides a glimpse into the future of our own solar system.”