Astronomers have continued to look deeper into interstellar space to discover distanced space worlds that are occupying the same galaxy as us. After astronomers recently discovered an exoplanet, named GJ 896Ab in the binary system of GJ 896AB, they went ahead to closely analyze the movement of the planet around its star.
Further analyzes enabled scientists to find out that the planet moves around its star following a specific angle to the plane of the orbit of both stars that made up the binary system. The movement of this exoplanet around one of these stars inspired astronomers to portray it in three dimensions for the first time.
This allows astronomers to improve their knowledge of how planets are formed in binary star systems. The GJ 896AB binary star system distance from Earth is about 20.3 light years away. Despite being at such a great distance, astronomers were still able to study its system and planets within the region.
However, they do not rely only on recent data to study the binary star system. Astronomers studied the movement of the binary star system across space using archived optical observations starting from 1941 to 2017. Most data contained in this archive were obtained by the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) between 2006 to 2011.
VLBA was built as a network of 10 sophisticated radio telescopes spread across the United States for astronomical observations. In 2020, astronomers conducted newer studies using the VLBA telescopes.
What Did Astronomers Find out from this newly discovered exoplanet?
The team of astronomers headed by Salvador Curiel of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) made out time to study the movement of star GJ 896A across the Cosmos. Through their observation, they realize that the star moves unsteadily through space. This unsteady movement was because a planet with about 2.3 times the mass of Jupiter is orbiting around the star. This massive planet completes one orbit every 284.4 Earth days. Astronomers discovered that there is a common center of mass that exists between the exoplanet GJ 896Ab and its parent star, GJ 896A. They called this center of mass, the barycenter. Astronomers draw a satisfactory conclusion by suggesting that the unsteady movement of star GJ 896A was due to this barycenter.
Generally, this method of observing the motion of stars across space is known as Astrometry. Astronomers have been using this astrometry technique to determine the movement of planets and stars in three dimensions. Approximately 4% of discovered exoplanets exist in binary star systems. Hence, scientists have enough reason to study the movement of planets in binary systems to improve our knowledge of astronomy. Every lover of astronomy will surely be fascinated by this newly discovered exoplanet.
Exoplanets that lie in the interstellar space world have continued to marvel at our astronomers. The recent discovered study about the movement of planets and stars in binary star systems has improved our knowledge of astronomy. We are just getting started unveiling the universe filled with wonders. Facts about other newly discovered exoplanets will increase your desire to learn more about the cosmos.