Signs identified by astronomers at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, located in Arizona, United States, suggest that one of the brightest stars in the sky may host one of the most scorching planets ever detected by mankind. Details of the discovery were published in the Astronomical Journal.
According to the information, “hidden” in the middle of 10 years of data collected in the installations, it is a gas giant, with an estimated size between that of Neptune and Jupiter, whose orbit is closer to its star than that of Mercury. around the sun.
In addition, one year there is less than three Earth days, and the average temperature of the environment, the scientists suppose, is almost 3,000 degrees Celsius. In it, iron turns into gas and life as we know it is definitely not thriving.
More than just bringing a single spatial object to the scientific community, the novelty will serve as a springboard for new findings related to the massive system in which it is located, much larger than the Solar System, and which concern many other neighborhoods throughout the galaxy.
“There must be other planets out there. We just need to understand how we can see them,” explains Spencer Hurt, the study’s leader.
The essential is invisible to the eyes
If, on the one hand, the challenge is great, Vega, on the other, makes a point of showing off to Earth’s inhabitants even during twilight, even before other stars appear. Located in the constellation of Lira, its distance from here is a factor that also does not hinder the spectacle it provides, since 25 light years, combined with twice the mass of the Sun it has, is a “jump” in cosmic terms.
Finally, other challenges are imposed on researchers, such as the fact that, being a type A star, it spins too quickly around its axis, a process that takes 16 hours between one cycle and another, making it difficult to collect accurate data. . So much so that there is a lot of work ahead for the team to confirm that there is, in fact, a planet over there.
“It would be incredible to find a planet around Vega because it offers the possibility of establishing a detection method that planets around weaker stars would not provide”, dreams Samuel Quinn, co-author of the research, which does not prevent unique experiences from being maintained at full throttle.
“Every time I go out, I look at the sky and see Vega, I say: ‘Wow! I know this star!'”, Concludes Spencer.