Who says that only our own solar system can offer amazing sights and regions to explore? Even though it has planets made out of gas like Jupiter, icy planets like Uranus, planets with rings like Saturn, or a planet full of various and complex life forms like Earth, things can become far weirder than this.
It’s true that humanity didn’t find life forms existing on other planets until now, but that doesn’t mean that other solar systems can’t capture the astronomers’ attention.
Perfect orbital resonance
The star HD 158259 located 88 light-years away is part of a unique solar system, being orbited by a super-Earth and five mini-Neptunes. Astronomers have been monitoring the system for several years, and they concluded that all of the six exoplanets are in orbital resonance close to perfection. This means that their orbits are closely linked, as the planets exert gravitational influence on each other.
A team of scientists led by Nathan Hara of the University of Geneva in Switzerland managed to calculate the orbits of each planet of the above-mentioned solar system. They had been using data gathered by the SOPHIE spectrograph and the TESS exoplanet-hunting space telescope.
Furthermore, the astronomers believe that such studies can make us understand more about planetary system formation. Stephane Udry of the University of Geneva declared:
Several compact systems with several planets in, or close to, resonances are known, such as TRAPPIST-1 or Kepler-80,
Such systems are believed to form far from the star before migrating towards it. In this scenario, the resonances play a crucial part.
Scientists believe that they can constrain the internal structure of the planets during a future study by using the data gathered. We’re eagerly waiting to see any further statements and results that will arrive from the astronomers in the near future.
The research was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.