A “habitable” planet may exist near a White Dwarf star

2022-05-04 0 By

British astronomers have discovered a possible planet in the “habitable” zone around a White Dwarf star 117 light years from Earth.Astronomers spotted 65 moon-sized structures in the habitable zone of the White Dwarf star, dubbed WD1054 — 226, BBC reported Tuesday.They circled regularly in “a precise alignment,” indicating that a nearby planet might be exerting a gravitational influence on them.Astronomers hypothesized that the structures were orbiting a planet about the size of an Earth-like planet in our solar system about 1.7 percent of the distance from the White Dwarf to the Sun.The study appears in the latest monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.Most of the 65 moon-sized structures are irregular and loosely shaped, and would not have been able to stay aligned and move regularly if they had not been pulled apart by friction and collisions with a nearby large planet, said Jay Farich, lead author of the report and professor at University College London.More evidence is needed to confirm the planet’s existence, Farihi said.Since planets around the White Dwarf are hard to see directly, the researchers will compare computer models to gather evidence and take further observations of the White Dwarf and its surroundings.The habitable zone is the region where a planet is just the right distance from its star.In this region, where the heat from the star to the planet is moderate, the surface is neither too cold nor too hot for liquid water, and thus potentially suitable for life.Compared with stars, white dwarfs emit less light and heat, and the surrounding “habitable” zone is smaller and closer to them.White dwarfs evolve from stars.Some stars with the mass of our sun, when they run out of fuel, expand first into red giants and then into white dwarfs.(source: CCTV news client) For more exciting content, please download the “Wuhan” client in each major application market.