Radio emissions from an exoplanet have been detected


Invisible glow

Finding planets in the universe is very difficult. I say this despite the fact that two planets in Earth’s sky will align tomorrow to form one of the brightest objects that can be seen in Hundreds of years. But while bright Jupiter and Saturn are always visible with the naked eye, Neptune was not directly observed until 1846 despite being present in our solar system. We are not starting to discover planets Abroad The solar system until 150 years after Neptune. Like Neptune, we find it (albeit indirectly) through visible light. However, an international team of researchers may have just made the first discovery of an extrasolar planet through radio emissions from the auroras of the planet.

Simulation of the “Hot Jupiter” gas giant Tau Boötis Ab, which orbits its parent star at one-seventh of the distance that Mercury orbits our sun. It is possible that the atmosphere and its star corona are touching. – c SpaceEngine Pro by author

Led by a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, Jake D. Turner, Philip Zakara of the Observatoire de Paris, and Jean-Mathias Greissmeier of the University of Orléans, the team will soon publish an article in Astronomy and Astrophysics On the basis of theoretical disclosure of exoauroa. Using the Low Band Antenna LOFAR (LOw Frequency ARray) located in the Netherlands, radio emission data were captured from three solar systems: 55 Cancri, Upsilon Andromedae and Tau Boötis. Each of these systems contains known exoplanets. The search was not discoverable new Exoplanets, however, are testing whether known planets can be detected in these systems by searching for radio signals. Planets emit radio signals created from interactions between their magnetic fields and the plasma or “solar wind” that radiates from their parent stars. When the star’s plasma is entangled in a magnetic bubble around the planet – then Magnetosphere Visible auroras are created just like the northern / southern lights we see on our planet. The Aurora also creates radio emissions that travel light years through space.

LOFAR is an array of 20,000 individual radio antennas concentrated in 48 separate groups within the entire cluster. C LOFAR / ASTRON CC by 3.0

Tried and tested

Currently, we have quite a few ways to discover distant worlds outside of our solar system. The most successful are Doppler spectroscopy (or radial velocity method) and the crossing method. You are familiar with the effect of Doppler in sound waves. The ambulance siren beeps louder when approaching but less when moving away. Light waves are also exposed to the Doppler effect. When an object approaches us, its light turns to a bluish part of the visible spectrum. As the body moves away from us, its light turns to the redder part of the spectrum. Planetary stars show a moving blue and red light because they literally wobble back and forth while being pulled by the gravitational pull of the planets around them. Oscillation is measured as the “radial velocity” of the star or the speed at which it travels toward or away from us during the course of the oscillation.

Radial velocity visualization or Doppler spectroscopy
Exoplanet C detection method – NASA

The second is the transit method used by planet-searching missions such as Tess and Kepler. These missions see silhouettes of distant exoplanets. As these planets orbit their host stars, they block out part of the starlight from our perspective, casting measurable shadows across space – transits. Transits tell us about the size of the planet, the distance from its parent star, and the duration of its year. Using both methods, Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered.

Visualize the method of discovering transiting exoplanets – c NASA

Hot and noisy Jupiter

Detection of radio emissions adds a new possible way to search for exoplanets. Of the three solar systems observed, the Tau Boötis star system has shown a promising result that the team believes may be a radio emission from a planet. Tau Boötis is located 51 light years from Earth in the constellation Boötes. The system contains a file Class F star (Tau Boötis A) is about 50% larger than our sun and 3 times brighter. The star has a red dwarf companion class M (Tau Boötis B) orbiting at a distance of 220 AU; More than 7 times the distance Neptune orbits our sun. The main F star has a known gas giant exoplanet called Tau Boötis Ab. Tau Boötis Ab was actually one of the earliest exoplanets discovered in 1996 using Doppler spectroscopy.

Composite images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope show the hyperactive aurora X-ray on Jupiter.  The image on the left is of auroras when a coronal mass ejection reached Jupiter, and the image on the right is when the aurora subsided.  The auroras were triggered by the ejection of coronal mass from the Sun that reached the planet in 2011. Image: X-ray: NASA / CXC / UCL / W. Dunn et al, Optical: NASA / STScI
We’ve seen auroras closer to home, too. These composite images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope show the very active Aurora X-ray X-ray on Jupiter. The auroras were triggered by the ejection of coronal mass from the Sun that reached the planet in 2011. Image: X-ray: NASA / CXC / UCL / W. Dunn et al, Optical: NASA / STScI

There is strong evidence that the radio signal from the Tau Boötis system is emitting from the planet itself. Tau Boötis Ab is a gas giant “hot Jupiter” orbiting around seven The distance Mercury orbits around our sun. Her year is only 3 days. The proximity to the star Tau Boötis Ab makes an ideal candidate for radio broadcast monitoring. The planet’s magnetic field is closely intertwined in stellar plasma, giving rise to radio emissions A. a million times Jupiter’s most powerful planet.

Planetary radio emissions can be more powerful than the emission of a star that distinguishes one from the other. The detected signal also showed a score polarization Predicted auroral planetary radio emission which is also different from other astronomical objects. However, flares and stellar explosions can sometimes be polarized in the sense that the radio source could originate from Tau Boötis B, the companion dwarf star, where dwarf stars M are known as violent solar flares. The team notes: “Follow-up notes are required to confirm the presence of this faint signal, and thus verify its source.”

Wireless signal strength from one of Tau Boötis’s notes. The comparison illustrates the detection between “ON” beams directed at the star system and “OFF” beams directed away from the system used for comparison and the contrast between a potential signal against the background noise.
C Turner, Zakara, Grismeer and others 2020

Habitable magnetic casings

If the signal did indeed originate from Tau Boötis Ab, we might witness a whole new era of exoplanet discovery. Fitting to enter this new era by Tau Boötis Ab. The hot Jupiters were among the first to be discovered by Doppler spectroscopy because their mass and close orbit to their stars made the “wiggle” of those parent stars more apparent. I also have a personal affinity with this planet as an observatory as I started my career in science outreach – Troutier Observatory at Simon Fraser University – Repeating Doppler notes Which showed the presence of hot Jupiter in Tau Boötis A.

Radial velocity measurements of the Tau Boötis A star from the SFU Trottier Observatory. These measurements show the thrust / pull wobble of the star as hot Jupiter’s Tau Bottis Up orbits the star. C. SFU Trottier Observatory

What was previously the domain of professional observatories decades ago, could be reproduced on a larger scale with scopes around the world such as those at SFU. Perhaps in another few decades, smaller centers will also experience the same hierarchy in LOFAR-based technology as we listen to auroras from distant worlds at public awareness observatories or even at home. In addition to the new detection tool, the implication of this finding is that we have a method for determining the strength of the magnetosphere of the distant world – related to the habitability. The Earth’s atmosphere is protected by our magnetic field that prevents the solar wind from carrying our atmosphere into space – literally blown by the sun – as it happened. Mars’ atmosphere was denser.

Meanwhile, as we work on fine-tuning new ways to find planets in the universe, be sure to try to capture the Jupiter / Saturn conjunction here in our solar system on December 21st.U. Universe Today is hosting a Virtual Star Party (hopefully) broadcasting a clear view from somewhere on the planet that we can then experience indirectly given our weather here in the Pacific Northwest. You can contact the Virtual Star party using the link below. (Start time is still ending. Check the broadcast link for updates).

More to explore

Cornell postdoctoral explores potential exoplanet radio emission | Cornell Chronicle

Search for radio emissions from 55 Cancri’s exoplanet systems, upsilon Andromedae, and tau Boötis using LOFAR beam observations (

Exoauroras revealed exoplanets – today’s universe

Radio Emission from Exoplanet – Jake Turner – YouTube

Louvre – Astron – The observatory used for discovery

[1210.1864] Origin of radio emission induced by an electron cyclotron in supercooled dwarfs: magnetosphere and ionospheric coupling currents ( (Free Access Essay)

Trotier is able to see a planet outside our solar system | The peak ( Madden Art ( Featured Artist

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