The most pressing concern for astronomers is whether we are alone in the cosmos. A recent discovery has piqued our interest even further. Nasa’s retiring Kepler satellite telescope has revealed a scorching system of seven planets, each receiving more radiant heat from its host star than any planet in our solar system.
This remarkable system, known as Kepler-385, is distinguished by the fact that all seven of its planets are larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, distinguishing it from our nearest neighbors.
Kepler-385 is one of the few known planetary systems with more than six confirmed planets or candidate planets. This amazing discovery is one of the highlights of a new Kepler catalogue that includes roughly 4,400 planet candidates, including over 700 multi-planet systems.
At the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, home of NASA, research scientist Jack Lissauer stated, “We’ve assembled the most accurate list of Kepler planet candidates and their properties to date.” Astronomers will be able to learn more about the features of exoplanets thanks to this catalog, according to Lissauer, who is also the primary author on the publication introducing the new catalog.
The core of the Kepler-385 system is a star that resembles our Sun, but is around 10% bigger and 5% hotter. The two inner planets are perhaps rocky and have thin atmospheres; they are slightly larger than Earth.
With radii that are roughly twice as large as Earth’s, the other five planets are projected to be covered in dense atmospheres due to their size.
The strength of the most recent exoplanet catalog is demonstrated by the capacity to provide such a detailed description of the Kepler-385 system’s characteristics. In contrast to earlier catalogs that sought to estimate the number of planets orbiting other stars, this extensive list offers precise information about every system, enabling findings such as Kepler-385.
The updated catalogue more precisely determines each transiting planet’s journey across its host star by utilizing enhanced observations of stellar characteristics. This combination shows that, in comparison to systems with one or two planets, the orbits of many transiting planets around a star tend to be more circular.
After Kepler’s main observations finished in 2013, an extended mission called K2 continued until 2018. Kepler’s data collection continues to reveal startling new information about our Milky Way galaxy. Our knowledge of the various worlds outside of our solar system is improved by this new study, which confirms previous findings that planets outnumber stars.