NASA has studied the elusive exoplanet hunted for 15 years

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US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — In 2005, NASA launched the exoplanet search mission, which expertly hid in the dusty cloud of its AU Microscopii star, the red dwarf. Only after a decade and a half, scientists were finally able to “catch” the body.

The exoplanet is called AU Mic b. It revolves around a red dwarf, located 32 light years from us. On a space scale, this is a very young star, since she is only 20 million years old. AU Microscopii is about half the size of our star.

The star is surrounded by a disk of dust and gas, in which the exoplanet hid so well. The TESS NASA telescope, as well as the Spitzer apparatus, were able to see the body. AU Mic b was the first planet to be captured in this solar system.

It is known that the mass of the discovered body is 58 times greater than the mass of the Earth and is located very close to the star, in connection with which a complete flyby takes 8.5 days. The planet is so young that it will help specialists better understand the processes occurring in space during the formation of planets.

The TESS telescope continuously monitored a huge section of the sky for a couple of weeks. The device investigated the changes in the brightness of stars and based on this, made a conclusion about the passing planets. The difference in brightness can talk about the size of a body, as well as the speed of its rotation.

The brightness decreased several times back in 2018. Then it was decided to use the Spitzer infrared space telescope to accurately verify theories and conjectures. It turned out that the exoplanet consists mainly of gas and can in a short time lose its large volumes during its movement. There are hardly even small rocky planets around AU Microscopii: for their formation, apparently, it takes more time. Studying the bodies will allow you to learn more about how the Earth and Venus formed, said Tom Barkley from the University of Maryland in Baltimore.


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