An international team of scientists has discovered radio explosions emanating from the Boötes constellation. According to scientists, this could be the first radio emission collected from a planet outside our solar system.
Tau Boötis is a binary star system, with the secondary star in red. It is a major F-type star about 51 light-years away in the Boötes constellation.
Cornell postgraduate researcher Jake D. Turner said, “We introduce one of the first recommendations for the discovery of an exoplanet in the world of radio. The signal is from the Tau Boötes system, which contains a binary star and an exoplanet. We argue for distribution by the planet itself. From the strength and polarization of the radio signal and the planet’s magnetic field, it is consistent with theoretical prediction. ”
Ray Jayawardhana, Dean of Harold Tanner College of Arts and Sciences, and professor of astronomy, said, “If proven through persistent observations, this radio discovery will open a new window on exoplanets, giving us a new way to explore an alien world tens of light-years away.”
The discovery was made using the Low Temperature (LOFAR), a radio telescope in the Netherlands. Comments from the LOFAR showed scattering emissions from a star system hosting a so-called hot Jupiter, a large gaseous planet that is very close to the sun.
Scientists were also monitoring potential candidates for exoplanetary radio emissions in the 55 Cancri and Upsilon Andromedae systems. Only Tau Boötes ‘s exoplanet system featured an important radio signature, a special window capable of the planet’ s magnetic field.
Turner said, “By observing the magnetic field of an exoplanet, astronomers determine the interior and atmospheric properties of a planet, as well as the interaction physics of a star planet.”
The Earth’s magnetic field protects it from the dangers of solar wind, keeping the planet inhabited. The magnetic field of Earth-like exoplanets may add to their normalcy by protecting the atmosphere from solar wind and cosmic rays, and protecting the planet from air loss.
Scientists studied nearly 100-hours of radio viewing and found Jupiter’s hot signature in Tau Boötes.
Turner said, “We learned from our Jupiter what this type of discovery is like. We went to find it, and we found it. “
The signature, however, is weak. There is still some uncertainty that the radio signal found is from the planet. Ongoing feedback is essential. ”
This study was funded by the National Science Foundation.
- JD Turner et al. Detecting radio emissions from the 55 Cancri, upsilon Andromedae, and tau Boötis exoplanetary systems using observations based on LOFAR behavior. DOI: 10.1051 / 0004-6361 / 201937201