Astronomers have discovered an unusual star system in which six planets orbit a single star in an elaborate geometric pattern, due to a phenomenon called orbital resonance. Using both NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Characteristic Exoplanet Survey Satellite (CHEOPS), researchers discovered a beautiful but complex planet 100 light years away from his planet. We have constructed an image of the HD110067 system.
The six planets in this system are: one planet orbits three times while the other orbits the other twice, one planet orbits the other six times while the other planet orbits the other once, and the other planet orbits the other four times. During this period, another planet orbits the planet three times, and so on. The six planets form what is called a “resonance chain”, each resonating with its neighbor.
This chain of resonance is what makes this system so unusual. “More than 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered orbiting stars other than the Sun, and resonances are not uncommon among them, and systems containing multiple planets are not uncommon. However, very rare “The challenge is to find a system in which the resonance spans such a long chain of six planets,” one of the researchers, Hugh Osborne from the University of Bern, explained in a statement.
Astronomical waltz reveals planetary sextuplets
All of the planets in this system are sub-Neptunes, which are smaller than Neptune and unlike any other planet in our solar system, but are thought to be some of the most common exoplanets. It is believed that planets often form in resonance due to gravity, but this delicate balance can easily be disrupted by perturbations such as passing stars or collisions with large asteroids or comets.
Researchers are hard at work investigating systems like HD110067. This is because it can show what the system would look like if these dramatic events did not occur.
“We think only about 1% of the entire system is in resonance,” said Rafael Luque, a researcher at the University of Chicago. “It shows the primitive configuration of a planetary system that has survived untouched.”
The research will be published in a journal Nature.