The new discovery provides more information on how planets were formed and gives humans a better chance of finding Earth-like worlds.
Using the two most modern telescope systems, the Keck Optical-Infrared Telescope (located in Hawaii – USA) and the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists analyzed spectral data from the satellites. White dwarfs originate from 18 exoplanet systems located 456 light years from Earth. .
The white dwarf (distant object, white) attracts matter from the planets orbiting the dusty disk – graphic image from NASA
Lead author of the study – scientist Siyi Xu (Gemini Observatory, Hawaii – USA) said he found a lot of “earth material” on these white dwarfs, or things that can be found on earth and contribute to the making of our planet. .
This suggests that the planets orbiting these white dwarfs also possess terrestrial material.
The reason why a star can transport these materials is that when it enters a cooling phase, it will extract material from the planets, asteroids, comets … that once existed around them, thus creating a disk of dust resembling the disk of dust around them. Saturn.
In these dusty discs, the team discovered many familiar elements and substances: calcium, magnesium, silicon… and even water.
Upon closer inspection, they identified several of the planets in these 18 systems as possibly possessing a lot of water, in the same way that our earth has vast oceans.
The team says it continues to better determine the chemical makeup of planets believed to contain the most Earth material.
The research was just presented at the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference held in Boston – USA and received many positive reviews from the world of astronomy – planetary science.
Sara Seager, professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), who was not involved in the study, commented: “It’s wonderful to see that there is strong evidence that planets with the same process of formation. the land is common “.
According to Professor Seager, the above results strengthen scientists’ belief that an Earth-like planet orbiting a certain star exists nearby and is waiting to be found.