CARMENES confirms the presence of a new planetary system with a potential habitable world


Artistic recreation of the planetary system discovered around the star GJ 357. ©Carl Sagan Institute/Jack Madden.

A new study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics and involving several researchers from the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA), presents the discovery of a planetary system around the star GJ 357, a dwarf star of almost a third of the mass and size of the Sun and 40% cooler than our star and located 31 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Hydra.

The finding began when NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) detected in February the presence of an exoplanet (GJ 357 b) in transit, i.e. a planet outside our solar system that briefly obscures the light of its star as it passes past it in each orbit. To confirm the presence of this exoplanet, the scientific team, led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), used data obtained from several terrestrial observers, including Calar Alto in Spain, in which the CARMENES (Calar Alto High-Resolution Search for M dwrafs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical échelle Spectrographs), a high-resolution near-infrared and optical spectrograph, built in collaboration with 11 institutions of German and Spanish research, including the CAB. 

During the process, the researchers discovered two additional worlds: GJ 357 c and GJ 357 d. "In a way, these planets were hiding in measurements made in numerous observatories over many years", explains Rafael Luque, of the IAC and first author of the I am a student.

GJ 357 b is 22% larger than Earth and orbits eleven times closer to its star than Mercury does to the Sun and has a temperature of around 254ºC. "Because the star around it orbits is relatively bright and the nearest of the nearest to the Sun, this exoplanet becomes the ideal target to study the atmosphere of a terrestrial planet," says José Antonio Caballero, researcher at the Centro de Astrobiología and one of the study's authors.


Fuente: UCC-CAB

Fecha: 2019-08-01


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