What will happen if the rumors related to Area 51 come true? No one can imagine the course of the universe if humans find hostile aliens. These are mere speculations, and it is essential to have consolidated facts and figures. However, in recent times, humanity has detected something very distinct, unique, and peculiar that can change how humans learn and study space science. Some astronomers from Cornell University have detected radio emissions from an exoplanet. This space object, presently, is 51 light-years away from Earth.
What is the news?
The radio emissions detection results from a distant exoplanet came through the low-frequency array (LOFAR). Using LOFAR, the team from Cornell University scanned many of the nearby solar systems known to host exoplanets. If the signals match with one of the stars, it indicates a radio emission from the exoplanet. The team found that the exoplanet belongs to the Boötes constellation. Though the scientists have claimed the signal is weak, it is under the next phase to confirm the data. However, the weak signal also renders information about the composition and habitability of a space object. The current findings of the research will get published in the forthcoming space journal, “Astronomy and Astrophysics.”
What are Exoplanets?
Most of the planets in the solar system orbit around the Sun. But, some space objects are beyond the realms of our solar system. So, they may revolve or orbit around another star and are called exoplanets. The very first discovery of an exoplanet was in the year 1988. It is tough to detect an exoplanet as they are not in the outreach of the telescopes present on the Earth or deployed in space. Hence, astronomers use different methodologies to detect the presence of an exoplanet.
One of the most effective methods is monitoring the transit phase of a star. NASA has sent a mission named Kepler to detect exoplanets. Kepler observes and tracks the star’s brightness. So, when any other planet passes in front of the star under observation, then there is a change in the brightness. This change in brightness and light intensity lets us understand and detect the presence of an exoplanet orbiting the star under observation. However, the radio emission detection technology is a novel way to understand the alien’s world in the tens and hundreds of light-years away.
About Boötes constellation
The Boötes constellation is present in the northern sky between 0° and +60° declination. It is one of the 48 constellations discovered by the ancient astronomer Ptolemy. Today, it is a part of the modern 88 constellations. It contains the orange giant Arcturus, which is the fourth brightest star. In ancient times, SHU.PA is the name given to the stars of Boötes. It borders Ursa Major to the northwest, Draco to the northeast, Coma Berenices in the west, Hercules and Corona Borealis in the east, and Virgo to its south.
What have scientists observed from the data?
After the data is deciphered and decrypted, initial observations indicate the exoplanet’s magnetic field, atmospheric and interior properties. The magnetic field of any planet protects it from solar wind dangers through the development of the magnetosphere. Hence, it ensures the habitability of the planet. Apart from this, the magnetic field shields the exoplanet’s atmosphere from cosmic flares that may penetrate and land on the surface, creating massive and large-scale destruction.
The scientists and astronomers from Cornell University have come up with an initial set of observations. They have also requested to keep patience until there is confirmation and consolidation of the facts. But, the radio emission detection technology will open many gates of space science where it will be easy to detect such exoplanets with more frequency.