The solar system consists of a “super-earth” and five mini-Neptunes
Scientists have discovered a six planet solar system orbiting around the star HD 158259, 88 light-years away that can help researchers better understand the gravitational influence and the formation of planets.
The solar system consists of a “super-earth” and five mini-Neptunes as well as an orbit around a star that is a little larger than the Sun.
An international team of researchers led by astronomer Nathan Hara of the University of Geneva in Switzerland mapped out the orbital movement of the planets calculating the orbits of each using measurements taken using the SOPHIE spectrograph and the TESS exoplanet-hunting space telescope.
Scientists found that the six planets were in perfect orbital resonance.
Orbital resonance in simpler terms is a term used to understand how the orbits of two planets are connected and how they orbit in sync with each other.
With reference to our solar system, Pluto and Neptune have an almost perfect orbital resonance of 2:3. This means that when pluto orbits twice around the Sun, Neptune will orbit thrice.
For the six-planet solar system, researchers found that the planet closest to its star HD 158259, completed three orbits, while the second one, completed about two.
As the second planet completed three orbits, the third then completed about two in a pattern that went on similarly for all six planets.
Such orbital resonance is pretty rare in planetary bodies. This observation can help scientists better understand planetary migration to understand the events that occur after a planet is formed. It can help them learn more about the early days of the universe.
Source - BUSINESS LINE