New solar system discovered 2020

New solar system discovered 2020 DEFAULT

New Earth-sized planet found in habitable sweet-spot orbit around a distant star

Researchers have discovered a new Earth-sized planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. The planet, called Kepler-1649c, is only around 1.06 times larger than Earth, making it very similar to our own planet in terms of physical dimensions. It’s also quite close to its star, orbiting at a distance that means it gets around 75% of the light we do from the Sun.

The planet’s star is a red dwarf, which is more prone to the kind of flares that might make it difficult for life to have evolved on its rocky satellite’s surface, unlike here in our own neighborhood. It orbits so closely to its star, too, that one year is just 19.5 of our days — but the star puts out significantly less heat than the Sun, so that’s actually right in the proper region to allow for the presence of liquid water.

Kepler-1649c was found by scientists digging into existing observations gathered by the Kepler space telescope before its retirement from operational status in 2018. An algorithm that was developed to go through the troves of data collected by the telescope and identify potential planets for further study failed to properly ID this one, but researchers noticed it when reviewing the information.

There’s still a lot that remains to be discovered about the exoplanet, like what its atmosphere is like. There could be any number of other problems with Kepler-1649c relative to its ability to support life, as well, including errors in the data used to determine that it is Earth-like and in the correct habitable zone around its star. But this represents one of the best-ever potential extra-solar planets found in terms of its potential of supporting life, thanks to the combo of its size and the temperate orbital band it occupies.

Identified exoplanets with Earth-like characteristics provide scientists with good candidates for future study, including targeting via Earth-based and in-space observation instruments. It’ll probably be a long time before we can definitively say anything about whether or not they might support actual life, but even finding exoplanets with the potential is an exciting development.


Beyond Pluto: the hunt for our solar system's new ninth planet

You’d think that if you found the first evidence that a planet larger than the Earth was lurking unseen in the furthest reaches of our solar system, it would be a big moment. It would make you one of only a small handful of people in all of history to have discovered such a thing.

But for astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, it was a much quieter affair. “It wasn’t like there was a eureka moment,” he says. “The evidence just built up slowly.”

He’s a master of understatement. Ever since he and his collaborator Chad Trujillo of Northern Arizona University, first published their suspicions about the unseen planet in 2014, the evidence has only continued to grow. Yet when asked how convinced he is that the new world, which he calls Planet X (though many other astronomers call it Planet 9), is really out there, Sheppard will only say: “I think it’s more likely than unlikely to exist.”

As for the rest of the astronomical community, in most quarters there is a palpable excitement about finding this world. Much of this excitement centres on the opening of a giant new survey telescope named after Vera C Rubin, the astronomer who, in the 1970s, discovered some of the first evidence for dark matter.

Scheduled to begin its full survey of the sky in 2022, the Rubin observatory could find the planet outright or provide the clinching circumstantial evidence that it’s there.

Discovery of the planet would be a triumph, but also a disaster for existing theory about how the solar system was created.

“It would change everything we thought we knew about planet formation,” says Sheppard, in another characteristic understatement. In truth, no one has a clue how such a large planet could form that far from the sun.

The distant solar system is a place of darkness and mystery. It encompasses an enormous volume of space that begins at the orbit of Neptune, some 30 times further from the sun than Earth, or 30 astronomical units (AU)the , and extends to about 100,000AU. That’s almost one-third of the distance from the sun to the next nearest star.

It was in the inner regions of this volume that American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. Although Pluto possessed just two-thirds of the diameter of our moon, it was originally classed as a planet.

By the end of the century, however, telescopes were bigger and astronomers were beginning to find more tiny worlds beyond Neptune. They were all even smaller than Pluto until 2005, when Mike Brown from the California Institute of Technology discovered Eris. It was at least the same size as Pluto and probably bigger, so, if Pluto was a planet, so was Eris. Nasa hastily organised a press conference and announced the discovery of Planet 10.

About a year later, the International Astronomical Union ruled that Pluto and Eris were effectively too small to be called planets and renamed them dwarf planets. So the solar system’s roll-call returned to eight: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. And a cottage industry of finding distant solar system objects really got going.

The path towards Planet 9 began one night in 2012, when Sheppard and Trujillo were using the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory’s telescope in Chile. They were finding more and more distant objects, but one in particular stood out. Catalogued as 2012 VP113, they nicknamed it Biden after the US vice-president at the time (because of the letters VP in the catalogue designation). To their amazement, this far-flung world never came closer to the sun than about 80AU. At its furthest, Biden would reach 440AU into deep space, meaning that it followed a highly elliptical orbit. But that wasn’t the most remarkable thing about it.

By some weird coincidence, its orbit appeared to be very similar to that of another distant world known as Sedna. This mini-world had been discovered in 2003 by Brown, Trujillo and David Rabinowitz of Yale University. It immediately stood out because of its highly elliptical orbit, which swings from 76AU to 937AU.

“Objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113 can’t form on these eccentric orbits,” says Sheppard. Instead, computer simulations suggest that they form much closer and are then ejected by gravitational interactions with the larger planets. The truly odd thing, however, was that the two elongated orbits pointed in roughly the same direction.

And the more Sheppard and Trujillo examined the other objects in their catch, the more they saw that those orbits were aligned, too. It was as if something was corralling those tiny worlds, like a sheepdog manoeuvring its flock. And the only thing they could think of that was capable of doing that was a much larger planet.

Curiosity piqued, they did some calculations and discovered that the planet their results were hinting at had to be somewhere between two and 15 times more massive than Earth, on an orbit that lies on average somewhere between 250AU and 1500AU from the sun. Their results were published by the prestigious journal Nature in March 2014 and interest in Planet 9 began to sweep the astronomical world.

The next big leap came in 2015 when Sheppard and Trujillo were among the scientists who discovered 2015 TG387. They nicknamed this one the Goblin. It’s the third most extreme object behind Sedna and Biden and it, too, lines up, reducing still further the idea that this alignment is a random coincidence.

In 2016, Brown and his collaborator Konstantin Batygin, also of Caltech, published their own analysis of the data. Agreeing with Sheppard and Trujillo about the size and distance of the planet, they even suggested an area of sky where they thought it might be found.

But not everyone is convinced.

Pedro H Bernardinelli, a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, realised that Sheppard’s data wasn’t the only place one could look for distant worldlets. So he turned to some initial data from a cosmological survey that was designed to measure the way in which the universe is expanding by looking at far-away galaxies. He searched the data for the celestial equivalent of a photobomb, looking for distant solar system objects that just happened to get in the way of the camera. He found seven.

At first sight, it looked as if these worldlets were also aligned as expected, but the more rigorously Bernardinelli analysed the data, the weaker he felt the alignment became. “We don’t think we see the signal in our data,” says Bernardinelli, although he admits the he can’t yet definitely rule out the planet and has yet to run the analysis on the full survey data. “Our answer might change the next time we do this,” he says.

These days, Sheppard can regularly be found using Japan’s Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, patiently scouring the sky for more evidence of Planet 9, maybe even hoping that he sees the planet itself. The scale of the task is enormous. It really is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. The planet – if it is even there – is very faint and the sky is very large. But help is on its way in the form of the Rubin observatory.

Rubin is a monster that will devour the sky. Whereas most telescopes would take months or years to survey the whole sky, Rubin will do it in just three nights. Then do it again and again and again to see what’s changed and so catch the moving objects.

Construction is nearing completion, and the telescope is set to open its giant eye for the first time later this year. Commissioning and tweaking will then take another couple of years.

“That survey is going to change solar system science as we know it,” says Sheppard. And if Planet 9 is out there, Rubin should see it.

“We can detect an Earth-mass planet at around 1000 AU,” says Meg Schwamb, of Queen’s University Belfast, who co-chairs the Rubin observatory’s solar system science collaboration. That puts Sheppard’s world easily within its sights. “If others haven’t seen Planet 9 before our survey starts then, I think, all eyes are on the Rubin observatory,” says Schwamb.

Even if the telescope fails to see the planet directly, it will detect many more distant mini-worlds that can all be use to triangulate the planet’s position more precisely, thus helping to narrow the search area. And if Planet 9 really is out there, then the consequences will be huge.

Astronomers think that the solar system formed in a disc of matter surrounding the sun. That matter condensed into smaller bodies, which then collided to form larger ones. At the end of this process, the planets were born. But the matter in this disc thins out further from the sun, meaning there is not enough raw material to form a large planet in the distant solar system.

To rescue the standard theory, some suggest that Planet 9 was once destined to become a gas giant like Jupiter or Saturn and so was forming alongside them. However, a gravitational interaction stunted its growth by hurling it out into the dark.

But Jakub Scholtz of Durham University is sceptical. “It’s possible,” he says, “but it actually requires quite a lot of coincidences.” That’s because a single gravitational interaction can’t do the job. Instead, a series of interactions is needed to place it in an orbit that never brings it back to where it formed.

Scholtz has a more exotic idea. Together with collaborator James Unwin, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, he has suggested that the object corralling these distant worldlets is not a long-lost planet but a black hole.

If so, not even Rubin will be able to see it, because black holes emit no light whatsoever – they simply swallow light and anything else that happens to cross their path. It is a tantalising possibility because Scholtz’s black hole would have to be part of a long-suspected but never-proved population of black holes that were formed shortly after the formation of the universe.

But for the time being, most other astronomers seem more than content with the idea that there’s a large planet out there in the darkness, just waiting to come into view in the next few years.

And if Planet 9 really is there, then perhaps the first time Sheppard sees it through a telescope, he will finally experience something akin to a eureka moment.

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News Release 10-172

Newly Discovered Planet May Be First Truly Habitable Exoplanet

Discovery suggests our galaxy may be teeming with potentially habitable planets

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

This artist's conception shows the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system and their host star.

This artist's conception shows the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system and their host star, a red dwarf star only 20 light years away from Earth. The large planet in the foreground is the newly discovered GJ 581g, which has a 37-day orbit right in the middle of the star's habitable zone and is only three to four times the mass of Earth, with a diameter 1.2 to 1.4 times that of Earth. The other three planets are visible along a diagonal from the upper left to GJ 581g.

Credit: Artwork by Lynette Cook

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Steven Vogt of UC Santa Cruz and UC Observatories and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington join NSF's Lisa-Joy Zgorski to announce the discovery of the first exoplanet that has the potential to support life.

Credit: National Science Foundation


The planetary orbits of the Gliese 581 system compared to those in our own solar system.

The orbits of planets in the Gliese 581 system are compared to those of our own solar system. The Gliese 581 star has about 30 percent the mass of our Sun, and the outermost planet is closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun. The 4th planet, G, is a planet that could sustain life.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

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An interior view of the Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

The new findings are based on 11 years of observations of Gliese 581 using the HIRES spectrometer on the Keck I Telescope at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The spectrometer allows precise measurements of a star's radial velocity (its motion along the line of sight from Earth), which can reveal the presence of planets. HIRES (the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer), designed by Vogt, is the largest and most mechanically complex of the Kecks main instruments. HIRES breaks up incoming starlight into its component colors to measure the precise intensity of each of thousands of color channels. Its spectral capabilities have resulted in many breakthrough discoveries, such as the detection of planets outside our solar system and direct evidence for a model of the Big Bang theory.

Credit: NASA

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Kepler Telescope Found New Planets Better Than Earth

List of exoplanets discovered in 2020

Name Mass (J) Radius (J) Period (days) Semi-major axis (AU) Temp. (K) Discovery method Distance (ly) Host star mass () Host star temp. (K) Remarks 2MASS J1155-7919 b10 582 imaging 330 [1]Very young Super-Jupiter on unusually wide orbit.[2]HD 38677 b18.57±0.01 0.1462±0.0012 877 radial vel. 202.2169±3.261564 1.21±0.03 6196±29 DMPP-1[3]Found by Dispersed Matter Planet Project looking for hot ablating planets. HD 38677 c6.584+0.003
−0.00071239 radial vel. 202.2169±3.261564 1.21±0.03 6196±29 DMPP-1[3]Found by Dispersed Matter Planet Project looking for hot ablating planets, 2:1 orbital resonance of unconfirmed transiting planet.[4]HD 38677 d2.882±0.001 0.0422+0.0004
−0.00031632 radial vel. 202.2169±3.261564 1.21±0.03 6196±29 DMPP-1[3]Found by Dispersed Matter Planet Project looking for hot ablating planets. HD 38677 e5.516+0.002
−0.0040.0651±0.0005 1314 radial vel. 202.2169±3.261564 1.21±0.03 6196±29 DMPP-1[3]Found by Dispersed Matter Planet Project looking for hot ablating planets. HD 11231 b0.426+0.038
−0.00550.0664±0.0005 1000 radial vel. 437.0495±13.04625 1.44±0.03 6500±100 DMPP-2[3]Found by Dispersed Matter Planet Project looking for hot ablating planets. HD 42936 Ab2.58+0.35
−0.00030.0662±0.0013 854 radial vel. 159.4905±1.956938 0.87±0.05 5138±99 DMPP-3[3]Found by Dispersed Matter Planet Project looking for hot ablating planets. EPIC 249893012 b [ja]0.02753±0.00343 0.174±0.008 3.5951±0.0003 0.047+0.005
−80transit 1059.03±13.69857 1.05±0.05 5430±85 [5]EPIC 249893012 c [ja]0.04616±0.00595 0.3274+0.0152
−0.012515.624±0.001 0.13+0.01
−29transit 1059.03±13.69857 1.05±0.05 5430±85 [5]EPIC 249893012 d [ja]0.03203+0.00774
−0.007610.3515±0.0116 35.747±0.005 0.22+0.02
−37transit 1059.03±13.69857 1.05±0.05 5430±85 [5][6]G 9-40 b0.1807 5.746007 0.0385 456 transit 91.1 0.290 3348 [7]Gliese 180 d7.56±1.07 106.341+0.261
−0.029radial vel. 39.96±0.01 0.43 3371 [8]Gliese 229 Ac0.025 122.005+0.364
−0.029radial vel. 18.78±0.004 0.58 3564 [9][10]Gliese 251 b>0.013 14.238 0.0818 351 radial vel. 18.205±0.006 0.360±0.015 3451±51 False positive in 2019, rediscovered in 2020[11][12]Gliese 433 d0.019 36.052+0.045
−0.015radial vel. 29.57±0.01 0.48 3600 [13][14]Gliese 1061 b0.00431+0.00050
−0.000473.204±0.001 0.021±0.001 radial vel. 11.98±0.003 0.12±0.01 2953±98 [15]Gliese 1061 c0.00547±0.00072 6.689±0.005 0.035±0.001 radial vel. 11.98±0.003 0.12±0.01 2953±98 [16]Gliese 1061 d0.00516+0.00076
−0.0320.054±0.001 radial vel. 11.98±0.003 0.12±0.01 2953±98 [17]Gliese 1252 b0.00658±0.00176 0.1064±0.0066 0.5182349+0.0000063
−0.00000500.00916±0.00076 1089±69 transit 66.49±0.06 0.381±0.019 3458+140
−133[18]Gliese 3082 b [ja]0.02759+0.011
−0.0133411.949±0.022 0.079+0.006
−0.007radial vel. 54.2 0.47 [19]HATS-47b0.369 1.117 3.9228 852.9 transit 984.01±6.20 0.674 [20]HATS-48Ab0.243 0.800 3.1317 0.03769±0.00011 954.6 transit 865 0.7279 4546.0+23
−18[20][21]HATS-49b0.353 0.765 4.1480 834.8 transit 1058.70±7.18 0.7133 [20]HATS-72b0.1254 0.7224 7.3279 739.3 transit 416.37±1.70 0.7311 [20]HD 80653 b0.0176±0.0014 0.1439±0.0063 0.719573±0.000021 0.0166±0.0003 transit 358.1197±2.641867 1.18±0.04 [22]HIP 65 Ab [ja]3.213±0.078 2.03+0.61
−0.0000340.01782±0.00021 1411±15 transit 201.85818±0.2609251 0.781±0.027 4590±49 an ultra-short-period Jupiter orbiting a bright (V=11.1 mag) K4-dwarf.[23][24][25]KELT-2019-BLG-1953 b0.59+0.71
−0.6microlensing 23000+3600
−0.17[26][27]KELT-2019-BLG-1953 c0.28+0.35
−0.7microlensing 23000+3600
−0.17[28][27]Kepler-1661(AB) b0.053±0.038 0.345±0.005 175.06±0.06 0.633±0.005 243 transit 1355.26±9.56 0.841±0.022 5100±100 [29][30]L 168-9b [ja]0.0145±0.00176 0.124±0.008 1.4015±0.00018 0.02091±0.00024 816±160 transit 82.02833±0.07827753 0.62±0.03 3800±70 [31]OGLE-2018-BLG-0677Lb [ja]0.0125+0.0185
−0.22microlensing 27000±3500 0.12+0.14
−0.08Milky way bulge[32]TOI-132 b0.07048+0.00598
−0.006040.305±0.012 2.1097019+0.000012
−72transit 536.43±89.11 0.970±0.06 5397±46 [33]TOI-257b [ja]0.134±0.023 0.626±0.013 18.38827±0.00072 0.1523±0.0017 1033±19 transit 251.37±0.065 1.38+0.056
−0.0096075±90 Host star also called HD 19916.[34][35][36]TOI-700 b0.00406+0.003
−0.006transit 101.5 0.416±0.01 3480±135 [37]TOI-700 c0.0249+0.0085
−0.0083transit 101.5 0.416±0.01 3480±135 [37]TOI-700 d0.00711+0.0022
−0.001640.1062±0.0098 37.426+0.0007
−0.0010.163±0.015 295±55 transit 101.5 0.416±0.01 3480±135 First "Earth sized" discovered by TESS[37][38]TOI-732 b0.098 0.119 0.7683881 0.012 892 transit 72 0.379 3360 Orbiting primary star of binary LDS 3977[39][40]TOI-732 c0.027 0.205 12.25 0.07673 323 transit 72 0.379 3360 Orbiting primary star of binary LDS 3977[39][40]TOI-813 b0.599±0.034 83.8911+0.0027
−21transit 864.8192±5.156379 1.32±0.06 5907±150 [41]TOI-1338 b0.1038 0.611 95.2 0.4607 724 transit 1301 First circumbinary planet discovered by TESS[42][43]HD 191939 b0.301 8.880411 0.089 778+58
−41transit 175 0.92 5400 Host star also known as TOI-1339[44]HD 191939 c0.287 28.58060 0.178 550±45 transit 175 0.92 5400 Host star also known as TOI-1339[44]HD 191939 d0.282 38.3561 0.216 499+12
−11transit 175 0.92 5400 Host star also known as TOI-1339[44]USco1621 b16 2880 2270 imaging 450 0.36 3460 [45]USco1556 b15 3500 2240 imaging 459 0.33 3410 [45]XO-7b0.709 1.373 2.8641424 0.04421 1743 transit 763 1.405 6250 [46]LHS 1815 b [ja]0.0132±0.0047 0.0971±0.005 3.81433±0.00003 0.0404±0.0094 617±84 transit 97 0.502 3643±142 [47][48]TOI-157 b [ja]1.18±0.13 1.29±0.02 2.0845435±0.0000023 0.03138+0.00025
−20transit 1171 0.948+0.023
−67[23]TOI 169 b [ja]0.791+0.064
−0.0482.2554477±0.0000063 0.03524+0.00069
−20transit 1345 1.147+0.069
−49[23]TOI-849 b0.128±0.008 0.308+0.014
−0.0110.7655240±0.0000027 0.01598±0.00013 1800 transit 735 0.929±0.023 5329±48 Neptunian Desert planet[49]HD 95338 b0.124+0.019
−9transit 120 0.76+0.16
−11[50]HD 332231 b0.244±0.021 0.867+0.027
−0.02518.71204±0.00043 0.1436+0.0032
−0.0033876±17 transit 262 1.127±0.077 6089+97
−96TOI 1456[51]TOI-1130 b0.3256±0.009 4.066499±0.000046 0.04394+0.00035
−0.00038876±17 transit 190 0.684+0.16
−0.174250±67 [52][53]TOI-1130 c0.974+0.043
−0.228.350381±0.000033 0.07098+0.00056
−0.0006637±12 transit 190 0.684+0.16
−0.174250±67 [52][54]HD 79211 b0.032±0.005 24.45±0.02 0.141±0.005 345 radial vel. 20.658±0.005 0.64±0.07 4005±51 Orbiting primary star of binary ADS 7251[55]WASP-150 b8.46+0.28
−0.00081460±11 transit 2422 1.394+0.07
−45[56]WASP-176 b0.855+0.072
−0.0453.899052±0.00005 0.0535+0.001
−21transit 1883 1.345+0.08
−79[56]TOI-1235 b0.0217±0.00025 0.155±0.007 3.444729+0.000031
−0.0004754±18 transit 129 0.640±0.016 3872±70 one more suspected planet in system[57]OGLE-2017-BLG-0406 b0.41±0.05 3.5±0.3 microlensing 17000±1600 0.56±0.07 4848 High fidelity microlensing event[58]TOI-421 b0.051+0.004
−0.0030.461±0.012 16.06815+0.00034
−0.0027696.6±12.2 transit 244.3±1.9 0.852+0.029
−58Also in system a red dwarf star at 2200 a.u. separation[59]TOI-421 c0.0222±0.0022 0.243±0.017 5.19676+0.00049
−17.6transit 244.3±1.9 0.852+0.029
−58Also in system a red dwarf star at 2200 a.u. separation[59]HD108236 b0.1415±0.0087 3.79523+0.00047
−0.000440.0469±0.0017 1099+19
−18transit 211 0.97 5730±50 [60]HD108236 c0.1845+0.0089
−0.000520.0651±0.0024 932+17
−16transit 211 0.97 5730±50 [60]HD108236 d0.2423±0.0097 14.1756+0.001
−0.00110.1131±0.004 708+13
−12transit 211 0.97 5730±50 [60]HD108236 e0.279+0.012
−0.01119.592±0.002 0.14±0.0052 636+12
−11transit 211 0.97 5730±50 [60]WASP-148 b0.291±0.025 0.722±0.055 8.80381±0.000043 0.22±0.063 940±80 transit 809±5 1.00±0.08 5460±130 [61][62]WASP-148 c0.397+0.203
−0.04434.515±0.029 0.359±0.086 590±50 radial vel. 809±5 1.00±0.08 5460±130 [61][62]NGTS-11 b0.37±0.14 0.823±0.035 35.4553±0.0002 0.201±0.002 440±40 transit 624±6 0.862±0.028 5050±80 [63]HIP 67522 b [ja]0.25 0.894+0.048
−0.0000151174±21 transit 416±4 1.22±0.05 5675±75 One more candidate planet around very young (age below 20 million years) star[64]HD 63433 b [ru]0.017 ±0.009 7.10801+0.00046
−0.0041transit 73.08±0.07 0.99±0.03 5640±74 [65]HD 63433 c [ru]0.023 0.238±0.01 20.5455±0.001 0.1531+0.0074
−0.0092transit 73.08±0.07 0.99±0.03 5640±74 [65][66]HD 164922 d0.013±0.003 12.458±0.003 0.103±0.003 radial vel. 72.1±0.9 0.874±0.012 5293±32 [67]OGLE-2006-BLG-284 b0.45+0.14
−0.402.2±0.8 microlensing 13000±4900 0.35+0.3
−0.2Binary host with 2.1 astronomical unit separation and uncertain, possibly unstable, planetary orbit.[68]Wendelstein-1b0.59+0.17
−0.0212.663416±0.000001 0.0282±0.0009 1727+78
−90transit 1004±10 0.65±0.1 3984+152
−0.3111.1592±0.0061 1.7522239±0.0000008 0.0234±0.0015 1852+120
−140transit 1875±20 0.73±0.11 4288+133
−111Extended gaseous envelope[69]Kepler-160d0.170+0.015
−2.9transit 3140±60 0.88 5471+115
−37Next expected transit in September 2020.[70]K2-315b0.085±0.005 3.1443189±0.0000049 0.0234 460±5 transit 185±1 0.174±0.004 3300±30 Also called the "Pi Earth" due its orbital period, or EPIC 249631677b[71]TOI-1266 b [ja]0.2193+0.074
−15transit 117.4±1.0 0.437±0.021 3563±77 [72]TOI-1266 c [ja]0.1492+0.077
−8transit 117.4±1.0 0.437±0.021 3563±77 [72]Possibly atmosphere of steam[73]AU Microscopii b0.18 0.375 8.46321±0.00004 0.066 transit 32.3±0.3 0.31 3500±100 [74][75][76]TOI-1728 b [ja]0.084+0.017
−0.0160.450±0.014 3.491510+0.000062
−0.0000570.0391±0.0009 767±8 transit 198.2±0.5 0.646+0.023
−32[77]BD-11 4672 c0.048±0.009 74.2+0.06
−0.080.30±0.01 radial vel. 88.63±0.11 0.651+0.031
−0.0294550±110 Habitable zone, highly eccentric orbit.[78]OGLE-2018-BLG-1269Lb0.69+0.44
−0.224383 4.61+1.70
−1.17microlensing 8300+3000
−0.2Very high fidelity event[79]Lacaille 9352 b0.0132±0.0019 9.262±0.001 0.068±0.002 468 radial vel. 10.721±0.002 0.468±0.012 3688±86 [80]Lacaille 9352 c0.0234±0.0038 21.789+0.004
−0.0050.120±0.004 352 radial vel. 10.721±0.002 0.468±0.012 3688±86 [80]HAT-P-58b0.372±0.03 1.332±0.043 4.0138379±0.0000024 0.04994±0.00044 1622±18 transit 1690±40 1.031±0.028 6078±48 [81]HAT-P-59b1.540±0.067 1.123±0.013 4.1419771±0.0000012 0.05064±0.00037 1278±7 transit 871±4 1.008±0.022 5678±16 [81]HAT-P-60b0.574±0.038 1.631±0.024 4.7947813±0.0000024 0.06277±0.00017 1772±12 transit 767±7 1.435±0.012 6212±26 [81]HAT-P-61b1.057±0.07 0.899±0.027 1.90231289±0.00000077 0.03010±0.00034 1505±16 transit 1120±20 1.004±0.012 5587±45 [81]HAT-P-62b0.761±0.088 1.073±0.029 2.6453235±0.0000039 0.03772±0.00024 1512±13 transit 1150±20 1.023±0.020 5629±48 [81]HAT-P-63b0.614±0.024 1.119±0.033 3.377728±0.000013 0.04294±0.00035 1237±11 transit 1330±20 0.925±0.023 5400+55
−0.131.703±0.07 4.0072320±0.0000017 0.05387±0.00030 1766+22
−16transit 2135±20 1.298±0.021 6457+55
−36[81]TOI-1899 b0.66±0.07 1.37+0.05
−0.075362±7 transit 419±1 0.627+0.026
−45[82]HATS-37A b0.099±0.042 0.606±0.016 4.3315 0.1587+0.067
−12transit 695 0.843+0.017
−0.0125247±50 One more red dwarf in system[83]HATS-38 b0.074±0.011 0.614±0.0176 4.3750 0.1587+0.067
−0.0751294±10 transit 1131 0.890+0.016
−0.0125740±50 [83]TYC 8998-760-1 c6±1 1.1+0.6
−0.3320 1240+160
−170imaging 309.4±0.9 4783 [84]HD 86226 c0.023±0.004 0.193±0.007 3.98442±0.00018 0.049±0.001 1311±28 transit 149 1.019+0.061
−0.0665863±88 [85]Gliese 2056 b0.444±0.053 69.971±0.061 0.283±0.0013 radial vel. 92.8 0.62±0.08 habitable zone[86]Gliese 480 b0.042±0.005 9.567±0.005 0.068±0.001 radial vel. 46.4 0.45±0.02 [86]Gliese 687 c0.050±0.013 728±12 1.165±0.023 radial vel. 14.83 0.40±0.02 Second Neptune sized planet discovered in this system[86]HIP 107772 b [ja]0.049+0.014
−0.027radial vel. 77.1 0.63±0.08 habitable zone[86]HIP 38594 b [ja]0.026+0.012
−0.007radial vel. 58.0 0.61±0.02 habitable zone[86]HIP 38594 c0.135+0.077
−0.441radial vel. 58.0 0.61±0.02 [86]HIP 4845 b0.053+0.016
−0.020radial vel. 68.8 0.62±0.04 [86]HIP 48714 b0.071+0.023
−0.0090.112±0.003 radial vel. 34.3 0.58±0.02 [86]TOI 824 b0.058±0.006 0.261+0.018
−0.0000170.02177±0.00032 1253+38
−37transit 208 0.69+0.009
−0.0074569±50 Neptunian Desert planet[87]Proxima Centauri c0.0179±0.006 1928±20 1.489±0.049 39+16
−18radial vel. 4.244±0.001 0.1221±0.0022 3042±117 [88][89]Second planet discovered orbiting nearest star to the Solar System TOI-763 b0.031±0.002 0.203±0.010 5.6057±0.0013 0.0600±0.0006 1038±16 transit 311 0.917±0.028 5444±110 [90]TOI-763 c0.029±0.003 0.235±0.011 12.2737+0.0053
−0.00770.1011±0.0010 800±12 transit 311 0.917±0.028 5444±110 [90]TOI-763 d0.030±0.005 47.7991±2.7399 0.2504+0.0093
−0.0105509±12 radial vel. 311 0.917±0.028 5444±110 [90]TOI-561 b0.0050±0.0011 0.127±0.006 0.446578±0.000017 0.01055±0.00008 transit 279.2±1.6 0.785±0.018 5455+65
−47[91][92]TOI-561 c0.017±0.003 0.257±0.009 10.779±0.004 0.08809±0.0007 transit 279.2±1.6 0.785±0.018 5455+65
−47[91][92]TOI-561 d0.038±0.004 0.226±0.011 25.62±0.04 0.1569±0.0012 transit 279.2±1.6 0.785±0.018 5455+65
−47[91][92]TOI-561 e0.050±0.007 0.238±0.010 77.23±0.39 0.3274+0.0028
−0.0027transit 279.2±1.6 0.785±0.018 5455+65
−47[91]TOI-1266 b0.042+0.035
−0.0017413±20 transit 117.5±0.1 0.48±0.1 3570±100 [93]TOI-1266 c0.007+0.006
−0.0024344±16 transit 117.5±0.1 0.48±0.1 3570±100 [93]Gl 414 A b0.029+0.010
−0.030.24±0.01 303.7±32.5 radial vel. 38.8 0.650±0.08 4120±109 Planets orbiting primary star of binary system[94]Gl 414 A c0.177+0.033
−1.21.43±0.06 123.3±13.2 radial vel. 38.8 0.650±0.08 4120±109 Planets orbiting primary star of binary system[94]TOI 837 b<1.2 0.768+0.091
−0.0728.3248762±0.0000157 transit 466.5±1.2 1.118±0.059 6047±162 Belongs to open cluster IC 2602[95]TOI-776 b0.0147±0.0031 0.163±0.010 8.24664+0.00009
−0.000060.0652±0.0011 513±12 transit 88.6±0.1 0.544±0.028 3709±70 [96]TOI-776 c0.0192±0.0047 0.184±0.012 15.6653+0.0008
−0.00070.1000±0.0017 415±10 transit 88.6±0.1 0.544±0.028 3709±70 [96]MOA-2009-BLG-319Lb0.2077±0.0255 2.03±0.21 microlensing 22800±2300 0.514±0.063 [97]TOI-481 b1.53±0.03 0.99±0.01 10.33111±0.00002 0.097±0.001 1370±10 transit 587 1.14+0.02
−0.015735±72 [98]TOI-892 b0.95±0.07 1.07±0.02 10.62656±0.00007 0.092±0.005 1397±40 transit 1120 1.28+0.03
−0.026261±80 [98]GJ 3473 b0.0059±0.0009 0.113±0.004 1.1980035+0.0000018
−0.00000190.01589±0.00062 773+16
−15transit 89.29±0.13 0.360±0.016 3347±54 Also called TOI-488 b[99]GJ 3473 c0.0233+0.0029
−0.002715.509±0.033 0.0876+0.0035
−6.4radial vel. 89.29±0.13 0.360±0.016 3347±54 Also called TOI-488 c[99]NGTS-12b0.208±0.022 1.048±0.032 7.532806±0.000048 0.0757±0.0014 1257±34 transit 1474±25 1.021+0.056
−0.0495690±130 [100]OGLE-2016-BLG-19280.001 n/a microlensing 30000 n/a n/a Rogue planet[101]LTT 9779 b [it]0.092±0.003 0.421±0.021 0.792054±0.000014 0.01679±0.0014 2000 transit 262.8±1.0 1.02+0.02
−0.035499±50 Neptune desert planet[102]TOI 540 b [ja]0.081±0.005 1.2391491±0.0000017 0.01223±0.00036 611±23 transit 45.67±0.29 0.159±0.014 3216±83 [103]HD 238090 b0.0217+0.0029
−0.0100.0932±0.0011 469.6+2.3
−2.6radial vel. 49.68±0.03 0.578±0.021 3933±51 Orbiting primary star in binary system Gliese 458[12]TIC 237913194b1.942+0.092
−0.04715.168865±0.000018 0.1207±0.0037 974 transit 1009±6 1.026+0.057
−0.0555788±80 Very eccentric orbit[104]EPIC 201170410 b0.09341 6.7987 0.0349 transit 437+149
−143[105]EPIC 201757695 b0.08101 2.0478 0.0296 transit 1880±110 0.727+0.044
−0.29microlensing 16000 0.08+0.08
−0.02[106]TOI-954 b0.174+0.018
−164transit 768.5±8.3 1.201+0.066
−49[107]EPIC 246193072 b0.260+0.020
−0.02412.4551225±0.0000031 0.1016+0.0018
−70transit 760±9 0.912+0.048
−39[107]WASP-186 b4.22±0.18 1.11±0.03 5.026799+0.000012
−22transit 913±11 1.22+0.07
−82Also called TOI-1494[108]WASP-187 b0.80±0.09 1.64±0.05 5.147878+0.000005
−0.0000090.0653±0.0013 1726+31
−2transit 1224±21 1.54±0.09 6150+92
−85Also called TOI-1493[108]TOI 122b0.028+0.029
−0.0100.243±0.016 5.078030±0.000015 0.0392±0.0007 471 transit 202.9±0.7 0.312±0.007 3403±100 [109]TOI 237b0.009+0.006
−0.0030.128±0.011 5.436098±0.000039 0.0341±0.0010 388 transit 124.2±0.7 0.179±0.004 3212±100 [109]HAT-P-68b0.724±0.043 1.072±0.012 2.29840551±0.00000052 0.02996+0.00043
−0.000121027.8±8.2 transit 662±3 0.6785+0.0299
−0.00794514±50 [110]LP 714-47 b0.097±0.005 0.420±0.027 4.052037±0.000004 0.0417±0.0005 700+19
−24transit 171.8±0.4 0.59±0.02 3950±51 Host star also known as G 160-62 or TOI 442, planet in Neptune desert[111]CFHTWIR-Oph 98 B7.8+0.7
−0.81.86±0.04 200 1800±40 imaging 447±13 0.015 2320±40 Very young superjovian planet orbiting a brown dwarf known as 2MASS J16274422-2358521[112]HD 190007 b0.052±0.005 11.72 radial vel. 41.47±0.03 0.77±0.02 4610±20 [113]HD 216520 b0.032±0.003 35.45 radial vel. 63.77±0.03 0.82±0.04 5103±20 [113]HD 216520 c0.030±0.005 154.43 radial vel. 63.77±0.03 0.82±0.04 5103±20 [113]TOI-519 b<14 0.75±0.21 1.2652328±0.0000005 0.012±0.004 760±54 transit 378±3 0.369+0.026
−200Very faint 17-magnitude host star[114]TOI-260 b0.009+0.013
−0.0090.157±0.027 13.478048±0.005188 transit 65.84±0.07 Host star also called HIP 1532 and BD-10 47[115]TOI-784 b0.031±0.004 0.171±0.015 2.797179±0.000158 transit 211±0.4 Host star also called HD 307842[115]TOI-836 b0.047±0.011 0.224±0.029 8.592004±0.002328 transit 89.73±0.10 Host star also called HIP 73427 and CD-23 12010[115]TOI-836 c0.018±0.004 0.162±0.024 3.816514±0.000757 transit 89.73±0.10 Host star also called HIP 73427 and CD-23 12010[115]EPIC 201085153 b

Solar system discovered 2020 new


In their paper, published in the Nov. 25 issue of Science Advances, the researchers observed the dynamical structure of these routes, forming a connected series of arches inside what's known as space manifolds that extend from the asteroid belt to Uranus and beyond. This newly discovered "celestial autobahn" or "celestial highway" acts over several decades, as opposed to the hundreds of thousands or millions of years that usually characterize Solar System dynamics.

The most conspicuous arch structures are linked to Jupiter and the strong gravitational forces it exerts. The population of Jupiter-family comets (comets having orbital periods of 20 years) as well as small-size solar system bodies known as Centaurs, are controlled by such manifolds on unprecedented time scales. Some of these bodies will end up colliding with Jupiter or being ejected from the Solar System.

The structures were resolved by gathering numerical data about millions of orbits in our Solar System and computing how these orbits fit within already-known space manifolds. The results need to be studied further, both to determine how they could be used by spacecraft, or how such manifolds behave in the vicinity of the Earth, controlling the asteroid and meteorite encounters, as well as the growing population of artificial human-made objects in the Earth-Moon system.

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Story Source:

Materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Original written by Ioana Patringenaru. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Nataša Todorović, Di Wu, Aaron J. Rosengren. The arches of chaos in the Solar System. Science Advances, 2020; 6 (48): eabd1313 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd1313

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "New superhighway system discovered in the Solar System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2020. <>.

University of California - San Diego. (2020, December 9). New superhighway system discovered in the Solar System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 12, 2021 from

University of California - San Diego. "New superhighway system discovered in the Solar System." ScienceDaily. (accessed October 12, 2021).

10 Planet Discoveries That SCARE Astronomers - Space Discoveries


Extrasolar planet in the constellation Cygnus

Kepler-452b (a planet sometimes quoted to be an Earth 2.0 or Earth's Cousin[3][4] based on its characteristics; also known by its Kepler Object of Interest designation KOI-7016.01) is a super-Earthexoplanet orbiting within the inner edge of the habitable zone of the Sun-like star Kepler-452, and is the only planet in the system discovered by Kepler. It is located about 1,402 light-years (430 pc) from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus.

Kepler-452b orbits its star at a distance of 1.04 AU (156,000,000 km; 97,000,000 mi) from its host star (nearly the same distance as Earth from the Sun), with an orbital period of roughly 384 days, has a mass at least 5 times that of Earth, and has a radius of around 1.5 times that of Earth. It is the first potentially rocky super-Earth[5] planet discovered orbiting within the habitable zone of a star very similar to the Sun.[6] However, it is not known yet if it is completely habitable, as it is receiving slightly more energy than Earth is, and could possibly be subjected to a runaway greenhouse effect.

The exoplanet was identified by the Keplerspace telescope, and its discovery was announced by NASA on 23 July 2015.[7] The planet is about 1,400 light-years away from the Solar System. At the speed of the New Horizonsspacecraft, at about 59,000 km/h (37,000 mph), it would take approximately 30 million years to get there.[8]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Mass, radius and temperature[edit]

Comparsions about size of Kepler-452b versus Earth and host stars Kepler-452 and Sun

Kepler-452b has a probable mass five times that of Earth, and its surface gravity is nearly twice as Earth's, though calculations of mass for exoplanets are only rough estimates.[9] If it is a terrestrial planet, it is most likely a super-Earth with many active volcanoes due to its higher mass and density. The clouds on the planet would be thick and misty, covering much of the surface as viewed from space.

The planet takes 385 Earth days to orbit its star.[10] Its radius is 50% bigger than Earth's, and lies within the conservative habitable zone of its parent star.[9][11] It has an equilibrium temperature of 265 K (−8 °C; 17 °F), a little warmer than Earth.

Host star[edit]

Main article: Kepler-452

The host star, Kepler-452, is a G-type and has about the same mass as the sun, only 3.7% more massive and 11% larger. It has a surface temperature of 5757 K, nearly the same as the Sun, which has a surface temperature of 5778 K.[12] The star's age is estimated to be about 6 billion years old, about 1.5 billion years older than the Sun, which is 4.6 billion years old. From the surface of Kepler-452b, its star would look almost identical to the Sun as viewed from the Earth.[13]

The star's apparent magnitude, or how bright it appears from Earth's perspective, is 13.426; therefore, it is too dim to be seen with the naked eye.


Kepler-452b orbits its host star with an orbital period of 385 days and an orbital radius of about 1.04 AU, nearly the same as Earth's (1 AU). Kepler-452b is most likely not tidally locked and has a circular orbit. Its host star, Kepler-452, is about 20% more luminous than the Sun (L = 1.2 ).

Potential habitability[edit]

Comparison of Kepler-452b and related exoplanets with Earth.

It is not known if Kepler-452b is a rocky planet[3] but based on its small radius, Kepler-452b is likely to be rocky.[7] It is not clear if Kepler-452b offers habitable environments. It orbits a G2V-type star, like the Sun, which is 20% more luminous, with nearly the same temperature and mass.[10] However, the star is 6 billion years old, making it 1.5 billion years older than the Sun. At this point in its star's evolution, Kepler-452b is currently receiving 10% more energy from its parent star than Earth is currently receiving from the Sun.[6] If Kepler-452b is a rocky planet, it may be subject to a runaway greenhouse effect similar to that seen on Venus.[14]

"Delayed" runaway greenhouse[edit]

However, due to the planet Kepler 452b being 50 percent bigger in terms of size, it is likely to have an estimated mass of 5 🜨, which could allow it to hold on to any oceans it may have for a longer period, preventing Kepler-452b from succumbing to runaway greenhouse effect for another 500 million years.[14] This, in turn, would be accompanied with the carbonate–silicate cycle being "buffered", extending its lifetime due to increased volcanic activity on Kepler-452b.[15] This could allow any potential life on the surface to inhabit the planet for another 500–900 million years before the habitable zone is pushed beyond Kepler-452b's orbit.

Discovery and follow-up studies[edit]

In 2009, NASA's Kepler spacecraft was observing stars on its photometer, the instrument it uses to detect transit events, in which a planet crosses in front of and dims its host star for a brief and roughly regular time. In this last test, Kepler observed 50000 stars in the Kepler Input Catalog, including Kepler-452; the preliminary light curves were sent to the Kepler science team for analysis, who chose obvious planetary companions from the bunch for follow-up by other telescopes. Observations for the potential exoplanet candidates took place between 13 May 2009 and 17 March 2012. Kepler-452b exhibited a transit which occurred roughly every 385 days, and it was eventually concluded that a planetary body was responsible. The discovery was announced by NASA on 23 July 2015.[7]

At a distance of nearly 1,400 light-years (430 pc), Kepler-452b is too remote for current telescopes or the next generation of planned telescopes to determine its true mass or whether it has an atmosphere. The Kepler spacecraft focused on a single small region of the sky but next-generation planet-hunting space telescopes, such as TESS and CHEOPS, will examine nearby stars throughout the sky with follow up studies planned for these closer exoplanets by the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope and future large ground-based telescopes to analyze their atmospheres, determine masses and infer compositions.

A study in 2018 by Mullally et al. claimed that statistically, Kepler-452b has not been proven to exist and must still be considered a candidate.[16]

SETI targeting[edit]

Scientists with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute) have already begun targeting Kepler-452b, the first near-Earth-size world found in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star.[17] SETI Institute researchers are using the Allen Telescope Array, a collection of 6-meter (20 feet) telescopes in the Cascade Mountains of California, to scan for radio transmissions from Kepler-452b. As of July 2015, the array has scanned the exoplanet on over 2 billion frequency bands, with no result. The telescopes will continue to scan over a total of 9 billion channels, searching for alien radio signals.[17]

Observation and exploration[edit]

Kepler-452b is 1,400 light-years (1.3×1019 metres; 89,000,000 astronomical units; 8.2×1015 miles) from Earth. The fastest current spacecraft, the New Horizons unmanned probe that passed Pluto in July 2015, travels at just 56,628 km/h (35,187 mph; 0.00037853 AU/h).[4] At that speed, it would take a spacecraft about 26 million years to reach Kepler-452b from Earth, if it was going in that direction.[4]


  • A diagram of the orbit of Kepler-452b within the Kepler-452 system, as compared to the inner Solar System and Kepler-186 system, and their respective projected habitable zones.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcd"NASA Exoplanet Archive – Confirmed Planet Overview – Kepler-452b". NASA Exoplanet Archive. 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  2. ^"NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 23 July 2015. Archived from the original on 15 August 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  3. ^ abRincon, Paul (23 July 2015). "'Earth 2.0' found in Nasa Kepler telescope haul". BBC News. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  4. ^ abcKepler-452b: How long would it take humans to reach 'Earth 2' and could we live there?
  5. ^"The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog – Planetary Habitability Laboratory @ UPR Arecibo".
  6. ^ abChou, Felicia; Johnson, Michele (23 July 2015). "NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Bigger, Older Cousin to Earth" (Press release). NASA. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  7. ^ abcJenkins, Jon M.; Twicken, Joseph D.; Batalha, Natalie M.; et al. (23 July 2015). "Discovery and Validation of Kepler-452b: A 1.6 R⨁ Super Earth Exoplanet in the Habitable Zone of a G2 Star"(PDF). The Astronomical Journal. 150 (2): 56. arXiv:1507.06723. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...56J. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/2/56. ISSN 1538-3881. S2CID 26447864. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  8. ^"NASA telescope discovers Earth-like planet in star's 'habitable zone". BNO News. 23 July 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  9. ^ abFeltman, Rachel (23 July 2015). "Scientists discover 12 new potential Earth-like planets". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  10. ^ abOverbye, Dennis (23 July 2015). "Kepler Data Reveals What Might Be Best 'Goldilocks' Planet Yet". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  11. ^Witze, Alexandra (23 July 2015). "NASA spies Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting Sun-like star". Nature. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  12. ^Fraser Cain (15 September 2008). "Temperature of the Sun". Universe Today. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  13. ^NASA Kepler press conference. 23 July 2015.
  14. ^ abLugmayr, Luigi (23 July 2015). "Kepler-452b details unveiled". I4U News. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  15. ^"Is Earth's Closest Cousin A Dying Planet?". 30 July 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  16. ^Kepler's Earth-like Planets Should Not Be Confirmed without Independent Detection: The Case Of Kepler-452b Fergal Mullally, Susan E. Thompson, Jeffrey L. Coughlin, Christopher J. Burke, and Jason F. Rowe, 2 April 2018. Available at arXiv:1803.11307, Accessed 3 April 2018.
  17. ^ abSETI Targets Kepler-452b, Earth's 'Cousin,' in Search for Alien Life

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map19h 44m 00.89s, +44° 16′ 39.2″


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