In the search in the course of planets similar to the earth in size and condition, they made a great sweep: eighteen planets newly discovered beyond the solar system, including one of the smallest known exoplanets and another that may be habitable.
Previous surveys had overlooked these exoplanets because of their small size, according to the results of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. Astronomy and astrophysics re-analyzed the data collected by the NASA Kepler Telescope along with a new, more sensitive method to detect exoplanets developed in the equipment.
The study estimates that this new technique, the so-called transit time survey, opens the door to the discovery of more than 100 extra exoplanets in the mission data Kepler has already compiled, according to the study.
The new algorithm does not take into account the sharpness of brightness as the previous standard algorithm, but the characteristic, gradual attenuation and recovery. This makes the new transit search algorithm much more sensitive to smaller exoplanets.
As for future discoveries of new worlds in the neighborhood of our solar system, scientists estimate that there are about 4,000 planets orbiting stars outside our solar system. Of these, 96 percent of them seem to be larger than our Earth, and most are comparable to gaseous giants like Neptune or Jupiter. The percentage is overwhelmingly biased towards exoplanets of massive size.
The objectives of the activity, the habitable potentials, outside the solar system. The smallest of the eighteen in the study is only 69 percent of the size of Earth and the largest of them is only twice as big as Earth.
Methods often use the "transit method" to look for stars that create periodic drops of brightness as they pass in front of their star. If a star has a planet whose orbital plane is associated with the line of sight of the Earth, the planet hides a small part of the light from the star. However, this does not work as well in the case of small planets, which is more difficult to detect. The effect they have on the visible light of a star is so weak that the fluctuations and noise of space that comes with any kind of spatial observation make the method useless.
Now, the team has shown that the transit method can also be improved in a more realistic light curve in the search algorithm. The new algorithm looks for features, gradual attenuation and recovery, such as waiting for an exoplanet of a smaller size. This makes the new transit search algorithm much more sensitive to small planets the size of the Earth.
"Our new algorithm helps to draw a more realistic picture of the exoplanet population in space," said Michael Hippke of the Sonneberg Observatory at PTI. "This is a method for a step forward, especially in the search for plans similar to Earth," he added.
By: Preeti Narula