DEC 04, 2015 6:43 AM PST

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

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

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
JUL 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Hubble Spots Evidence of Water on Jupiter's Moon
JUL 29, 2021
Hubble Spots Evidence of Water on Jupiter's Moon
Scientists have spotted evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. The corresponding stu ...
OCT 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
In a First, Researchers Find a Planet Orbiting Three Stars
OCT 05, 2021
In a First, Researchers Find a Planet Orbiting Three Stars
Scientists were mystified by images obtained from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope, which s ...
OCT 22, 2021
Health & Medicine
Galactic Cosmic Radiation Could Have Different Effects on Males and Females
OCT 22, 2021
Galactic Cosmic Radiation Could Have Different Effects on Males and Females
As commercial spaceflight becomes readily available, more and more people will have access to space. In decades past, on ...
NOV 18, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Nitrous Oxide is Too Cheap
NOV 18, 2021
Nitrous Oxide is Too Cheap
In a recent study published in Nature Climate Change, a team of researchers have discovered that the social cost associa ...
DEC 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
'Hear' the Magenetosphere of One of Jupiter's Moons During a Juno Flyby
DEC 17, 2021
'Hear' the Magenetosphere of One of Jupiter's Moons During a Juno Flyby
During a flyby of Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, the Juno spacecraft made a recording on June 7, 2021. The frequency of th ...
JAN 17, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
'Space Anemia' is Due to an Accelerated Loss of Red Blood Cells
JAN 17, 2022
'Space Anemia' is Due to an Accelerated Loss of Red Blood Cells
When astronauts go to space, many of them become anemic; they lose red blood cells. It's been suggested that space anemi ...
Loading Comments...