DEC 04, 2015 06:43 AM PST

Over Half of Kepler's Giant Exoplanets Aren't Exoplanets At All Says New Study

There have been a lot of discoveries made far and near in our universe by NASA’s Kepler space telescope. The discoveries included a lot of so-called ‘exoplanets,’ or planets that aren’t close enough to be considered in our own solar system because they orbit their own host star.
 
A recent study led by a researcher team from the Instituto de Astrofísica (Insistute of Astrophysics), suggests that over half of the discoveries made with the Kepler’s SOPHIE spectrograph that were thought to be distant exoplanets may actually not be. Instead, they could be some kind of eclipsing binary star system, or they could be dying brown dwarf stars that are so dim they actually come off as a type of exoplanet.
 

Not all recent discoveries by Kepler may actually be exoplanets as once thought.


From the data collected, which involved 129 samples out of 8,826 discoveries, 52.3% of them were eclipsing binary star systems, in which the shadows from the eclipsing would appear to be some kind of planet orbiting a host star, and 2.3% of them were brown dwarfs, or dying stars too dim to be distinguished between a reflective planet or a dying star.
 
“Detecting and characterizing planets is usually a very subtle and difficult task,” said Vardan Adibekyan, one of the researchers involved in the study. “In this work, we showed that even big, easy to detect planets are also difficult to deal with. In particular, it was shown that less than half of the detected big transiting planet candidates are actually there. The rest are false positives, due to different kind of astrophysical sources of light or noise.”
 
Because things can appear not as they seem from a first glance, going back later and looking at it a second time with additional equipment is necessary to help scientists learn what they’re really looking at. This might include spectroscopic follow-up observations after the initial discovery.
 
The research also helped shed some light on gassy exoplanets, suggesting that the gasses surrounding the solid core may not really be as heavily expanded as originally thought.

Source: Instituto de Astrofísica

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
OCT 23, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 23, 2018
NASA Fixes Hubble's Gyroscope Issue, Tests Planned for Near Future
On October 5th, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope experienced a troublesome gyroscope malfunction. Onboard software attempted to rectify the issue by kic...
OCT 28, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 28, 2018
How NASA's Apollo Program Changed Spaceflight Forever
NASA’s Apollo program trekked carefully along the dangerous line separating risk from reward, and as it would seem, the American space agency may hav...
OCT 31, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 31, 2018
ESA's European Service Module is Now Ready to be Shipped to the U.S.
Deep space exploration is slowly becoming the primary focus of major space agencies around the globe, and NASA’s Orion spacecraft is poised to become...
DEC 04, 2018
Space & Astronomy
DEC 04, 2018
Learn How NASA's Apollo 12 Mission Escaped Double Lightning Strikes
When NASA’s Apollo 12 mission was preparing to launch on November 14th, 1969, ominous storm clouds began swarming the launch pad. Regardless, weather...
JAN 13, 2019
Space & Astronomy
JAN 13, 2019
Watch SpaceX Loft 10 Satellites Into Space At Once for Iridium
On Friday, SpaceX lofted a total of 10 Iridium satellites into space with a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket ignited its engines on a launch pa...
JAN 15, 2019
Space & Astronomy
JAN 15, 2019
Are You Prepared for This Weekend's Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse?
Nighttime sky gazers are in for a beautiful treat this weekend as the Moon prepares to put on a spectacular show. Beginning Sunday, January 20th at approxi...
Loading Comments...