Planet found with nuclear fusion at its core

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of scientists led by Professor Sasha Hinckley of the University of Exeter has discovered a new exoplanet with signs of nuclear fusion in its core.

The researchers confirmed the presence of a distant planet using the GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The instrument uses optical interferometry to synchronize the four main VLT telescopes.

This technique allows GRAVITY to measure the planet’s position in orbit with extreme accuracy, as well as the spectrum of light emitted from its atmosphere.

Using this method, the research team determined that the newly discovered planet was showing an apparent “brightening” because nuclear fusion was taking place in its core and deuterium was being burned.

This is one of the first sightings of a planet whose presence was partially determined by the astrometric method.

In 2017, scientists discovered the brown dwarf HD206893B orbiting its parent star. Long-term monitoring by the HARPS instrument, as well as accurate measurements of the proper motion of the parent star by the Gaia mission, reported the presence of an inner companion with a lower mass.

Using the GRAVITY instrument, scientists were able to prove that it was a new planet, named HD206893c. The planet orbits about 483,000,000 km from its parent star. Its mass is greater than that of Jupiter.


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