Exoplanet eclipsing parent star detected for 1st time
Washington: Astronomers have for the first time, through X-ray observations, detected an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star.
An advantageous alignment of a planet and its parent star in the system HD 189733, which is 63 light-years from Earth, enabled NASA`s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency`s XMM Newton Observatory to observe a dip in X-ray intensity as the planet transited the star.
"Thousands of planet candidates have been seen to transit in only optical light," Katja Poppenhaeger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., who led a new study, said.
"Finally being able to study one in X-rays is important because it reveals new information about the properties of an exoplanet," the researcher said
The team used Chandra to observe six transits and data from XMM Newton observations of one.
The planet, known as HD 189733b, is a hot Jupiter, meaning it is similar in size to Jupiter in our solar system but in very close orbit around its star.
HD 189733b is more than 30 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun. It orbits the star once every 2.2 days.
HD 189733b is the closest hot Jupiter to Earth, which makes it a prime target for astronomers who want to learn more about this type of exoplanet and the atmosphere around it.
They have used NASA`s Kepler space telescope to study it at optical wavelengths, and NASA`s Hubble Space Telescope to confirm it is blue in color as a result of the preferential scattering of blue light by silicate particles in its atmosphere.
The study with Chandra and XMM Newton has revealed clues to the size of the planet`s atmosphere.
The spacecraft saw light decreasing during the transits.
The decrease in X-ray light was three times greater than the corresponding decrease in optical light. he findings are set to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- China condemns Pakistan over Uri terror attack
- Indian- Americans launch online petition to declare Pakistan 'sponsor of terrorism'
- DNA: Analysis over who is responsible for tense condition of Kashmir after Burhan Wani's death?
- Should Pakistani artists be restricted from working in India?
- Congress workers thrash students for showing black flags to Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli
- Onam Bumper Lottery/Kerala Thiruvonam Bumper-2016 BR-51 draw result declared - Here is the winning ticket number
- Uri attack: Israel ready to help India with cutting-edge technology to secure borders
- India's Rafale vs Pakistan's F-16: Why the French fighter jet is the best choice for dogfight
- MNS ultimatum to Pakistani actors: Leave India in 48-hour deadline
- All you need to know about Reliance JioFi at Rs 1,999 – use free data till December 31