Instrument is close to being able to detect Earth's twin, says Brazilian study

Although we have heard a lot in recent years about the discovery of exoplanets with the potential to be habitable or similar to Earth, the detection of a perfect analog perform in our world has not yet happened. However, we are getting closer, as shown by a new study conducted mainly by Brazilian researchers.

The work, which has as its first author Yuri Netto, performs IAG-USP (Institute on Astronomy, Geofsica electronic Sciences Atmospherics of a University on So Paulo), was accepted for publication Astronomical Record no. It aimed to test the precise level of perform Flavored coffee, spectrograph installed in the new VLT, perform telescope ESO (European perform South Observatory) in Chile. This instrument was designed to search for terrestrial analogues, that is, exoplanets with the mass of an Earth, in a comparable orbit of an Earth, orbiting some star like the Sun. method of measuring over radial velocities (the famous detection performs swaying diesel stars as planets revolve around them electronic seeing that they attract to c electronic to d), one would need to achieve some accuracy about 10 cm/t. (Think about it: measuring a movement of a mere ten centimeters every second of a star located light-years away.)

Predecessor spectrograph performs Espresso, u Harps, installed at Una Silla, also zero Chile, has 1 michael/t accurate. In other words, the ambition is to improve tenfold the available measures. Electronic at this point he’s almost there.

The group conducted 24 observations from a Cool star 11915 , scattered over about 60 nights. The star, located 60 light-years from here in the constellation of Whale, was chosen because it is a twin sun that has a planet similar to Jpiter, discovered with the Harps, also by Brazilians, in 2015, electronic is now in a phase of low stellar activity.

After while observations electronic a post-processing (intended to clear a noise, mainly produced by the activity of a star), operating system researchers obtained reliable measurements of radial velocity averaging over 24 cm/h. This established, therefore, the minimum qualification perform in the worst hypotheses Capuccino, I need some cm/t. It may seem frustrating, but a great result.

The expectation that the more observations are made, the greater the accuracy achieved. Electronic 60 nights, as in this initial study, a very restricted period for the search for exoplanets: after all, to confirm any detection, I need the planet to be full at least some full circle around it of a star, which in the case of a perfect Earth analogue would require a few 60 days. an Espresso achieves the coveted range over sensitivity 2 10 cm/h. Electronic the star Cool 11915, operating system researchers remind us, would be a great place to keep looking. After all, as far as we know, the similarity to the Solar System is remarkable. Who knows in d that we will find the first perfect analogue of the Earth?

This column was published on Mondays, in Folha Corrida.11915

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