Discovered – Astronomers find 24 new isolated 'Hot Earth' exoplanets!
Hot Earths are Earth-sized exoplanets that exist close to their stars, making them unlikely to support life.
New Delhi: Astronomers have successfully identified 24 "Hot Earth" star systems where the exoplanets are isolated from other planets, as per a new study.
To identify 'Hot Earth' exoplanets, researchers from NASA Ames Research Center, the SETI Institute and the University of Nevada, began with a large set of possible star system candidates, and they reduced the number to 24 by focusing on those that were not in close contact with other planets.
In the study, the team of researchers focused on near Earth-size planets that orbit very close to their star - so close that it would take just two days for them to make the trip.
They began their search on a part of the sky captured by Kepler that had over 3000 known planet candidates in it. From there, they reduced it to 144 planets by excluding systems that clearly had more than one planet, and then finally trimmed it down to just 24 by including only those that had hot Earths.
Their findings revealed that approximately one of every six hot Earths has no nearby companion.
The researchers also believe that the solitary hot Earths they found might have companions but not within Kepler's line of sight, making them appear unaccompanied.
Hot Earths are Earth-sized exoplanets that exist close to their stars, making them unlikely to support life. This is because most of hot Earths do not rotate, instead, one side always faces the sun. This means one side would be too hot for life to exist while the other side would be too cold, as per Phys.Org.
The researchers believe that their findings would help them understand the origin of hot Earth exoplanets even as some theories suggest they are the remnants of hot Jupiter planets that have lost their atmospheres due to the strong pull from their nearby stars.