delivery time2023-03-28 11:56
Webb Telescope Captures 0.1% Infrared Light Change During Second Solar Eclipse
(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Um Nam-seok = The temperature of TRAPPIST-1 b, one of the seven planets of the planetary system ‘TRAPPIST-1’, which is about 40 light years away from Earth, was measured by thermal energy emitted on form of infrared rays.
This is the first time that light has been captured from an exoplanet that is small in size and not as hot as a rocky planet in the solar system, confirming the existence of exoplanets orbiting M-type dwarf stars such as TRAPPIST- 1 are presented as an important step forward.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the 28th, an international research team led by astrophysicist Dr. Thomas Green from ‘Ames Research Centre’ James Webb Telescope (JWST) mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) to measure the temperature of TRAPPIST-1 b The measured results were published in the scientific journal ‘Nature’.
The surface temperature of the planet has been measured to be around 500 Kelvin (450 °F), indicating that it cannot have an atmosphere.
Trappist-1 is a very cool red dwarf (type M) with only 9% of the mass of the sun, and is known to have seven planets at the distance from the sun to Mercury. All of these planets are about the same size as Earth, and six are rocky.
Trappist-1 b, orbiting in the innermost part, is exposed to four times the amount of solar energy received by Earth as it orbits less than 1/100 the distance between the Sun and Earth with cycle of 1.51 days. Although it is not within the habitable zone, it became an observational target because it could obtain information about the position of other planets or M-type dwarfs in the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.
M-type dwarfs are 10 times more likely to contain rocky planets than there are 10 times more sun-like stars in our galaxy. However, these stars are known to be very active in their youth, destroying the atmospheres of nearby planets with flares and X-rays bursting with huge amounts of energy.
Previous observations with the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes have not found atmospheric evidence, but they cannot be ruled out.
The research team measured the planet’s temperature as a way to resolve this uncertainty.
Trappist-1 b is a synchronously rotating planet with only one side always facing the star due to the tidal force, so if there is an atmosphere, heat circulates and the temperature on the other side will be lower than when it is not is.
The research team used ‘secondary eclipse photometry’ technology, which measures the change in light with MIRI when TRAPPIST-1 b orbits behind the star rather than in front of it.
Although TRAPPIST-1 b does not emit visible light, it does emit infrared light, so the temperature was calculated using the infrared light emitted by the planet by subtracting the starlight during the second solar eclipse from the total infrared light the star and the planet.
The star was more than 1,000 times brighter than the planet, and the change in brightness was within 0.1%. It is said that no telescope before the Webb telescope has been able to capture it.
The research team observed the second solar eclipse five times, and as a result of examining different scenarios according to temperature through computer models, they concluded that it corresponds almost perfectly to the rocky body without an atmosphere.
“This is the first time we have captured the heat emitted by a rocky planet that is not very hot, and it is a very important step forward in the discovery of exoplanets,” said the research team.
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2023/03/28 11:56 Sent