Two rare exoplanets in the spotlight

A typical case of serendipity that led to the discovery of two celestial bodies not very widespread. An international team of scientists was intent on characterize the composition of small exoplanets and to investigate how it changes in relation to theirs location and temperature and according to property of guest stars. During the research, the team examined the star Hd 23472 and ran into a planetary system consisting of five units, three ‘super-Terre’ It is probably, two rare ‘super-Mercuri’.

The survey results were published on Astronomy & Astrophysics (item: “Hd 23472: a multi-planetary system with three super-Earths and two potential super-Mercuries”); the research, coordinated byInstitute of Space Sciences of the University of Portoalso saw the participation of Italian scientists ofInaf-National Institute of Astrophysics (observers of Trieste, Turin and Palermo).

The study was based on data collected by the Espresso spectrograph (Andchelle Spectrograph for R.ocky Andxoplanet- and S.table S.pectroscopic ORbservations), installed on the telescope Vlt ofExcome on computer models. The type planets super-Mercury I’m very rare: if the two just identified were confirmed, there would be eight currently known representatives of this category, which presents traits similar to those of ours Mercury. The first planet of the Solar System, in fact, is characterized by a relatively large core and from a thinner coat compared to his other ‘colleagues’. This singular structure – according to the main hypotheses – would have been produced either by a devastating impact or from one very high temperature: in both cases, it would have been the coat which would indeed be reduced.

The data also shows that the super-Earths are equipped with asignificant atmospherewhile the aspirants super Mercuri they are the two worlds closest to the host star, with obvious consequences on the atmosphere due to the intense irradiation.

Scholars have tried to understand how they could have been to form these two unusual celestial bodies and hypothesized that a key element could be connected to the star composition HD 23472, excluding instead a far-reaching impact. In their opinion, in fact, it is highly unlikely that such an episode could have been repeated on two planets.

The working group intends to continue this line of research, focusing above all on the characterization of the composition of the two rare exoplanets. Since both have a smaller radius compared to that of the Earth, current instruments do not have the adequate sensitivity to probe its surface: scholars await the entry into play of the Elt telescope ofExwhich is currently under construction and will be equipped with a state-of-the-art spectrograph.

Above: Mercury (Credits: Nasa).

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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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