During the study of the Nu2 Lupi star system with two mysterious planets in orbit, scientists discovered a ghost flying past the star.
The discovery came from ESA’s Cheops satellite, a state-of-the-art “exoplanet hunter”. Cheops observed the space around the star Nu2 Lupi, which can be seen from Earth, and found two exoplanets, Nu2 Lupi b and Nu2 Lupi c, each orbiting the parent star respectively taking 11, 6 and 27.6 Earth days.
But according to Phys.org, while studying Nu2 Lupi c, a planet believed to be rich in water, scientists discovered that a “ghost” appeared. This is Nu2 Lupi d, a planet that takes 107.6 days to orbit around its mother star.
This is the first time that an exoplanet with a period of more than 100 days has been discovered when it passes through the middle of the Earth – the parent stellar space, because this moment is extremely rare.
This star system is known as the “transitional star system,” which means that orbiting planets are “visible” to changes in the light of the parent star as it passes. According to lead author of the study, Dr Laetitia Delrez from the University of Liège (Belgium), such systems represent an excellent opportunity to fully study a star system. Because by passing through its mother star, this exoplanet will give us a precious opportunity to study its atmosphere, its orbit, its size and its interior.
While Nu2 Lupi b is an inhospitable rocky planet, Nu2 Lupi c and Nu2 Lupi d are very watery – constituting perhaps a quarter of the mass of the planet, which is hundreds of times the proportion of water on Earth ( water on Earth). up to 0.1% of the planet’s mass).
Nu2 Lupi d is the most interesting world because it has a mild temperature and is less affected by extreme cosmic radiation than other exoplanets. Unfortunately, the team does not consider him suitable for life.