The search for planets orbiting stars other than our Sun has proved to be a long and difficult search, and their final discovery almost a generation ago is certainly one of mankind’s greatest achievements. The first extrasolar planet orbiting a star like our Sun was discovered in 1995, and now, nearly twenty years later, astronomers have been able to see far more planets living outside our solar system than the eight known great planets orbiting it. . As technology has improved over the years, dedicated planetary explorers have discovered extrasolar planets using a variety of new techniques. In May 2013, astronomers announced that, using the predictions of two theories of relativity Albert Einstein, they found a huge alien planet orbiting a distant star – the newly discovered world was aptly named “Planet Einstein”!
The planet Einstein – one of the most recent alien worlds discovered by a significant batch of more than 800 – according to the latest estimates. However, he was the first to use this new method. The planet, which has the less colorful official name Kepler-76b, is huge. It is about 25% larger than Jupiter in our solar system, and weighs about twice as much, which puts it in a class of extrasolar planets called hot Jupiters. The huge and very hot world is about 2,000 light-years from our planet in the constellation Cygnus.
The first extrasolar planet discovered near a star similar to the Sun nearly 20 years ago was also hot Jupiter and was discovered by planetary researchers using the Doppler shear method, which promotes the discovery of giant planets orbiting their parent stars in fast and short orbits. . Until this very first extrasolar planet was discovered, hot Jupiters were an unknown and unforeseen class of planets. Such strange animals do not live in a charming family of our Sun of eight people – huge gas giant planets, such as our Jupiter and the ring planet Saturn, live in the far corners of our solar system.
Planet hunters who first saw Kepler-76b successfully used some of the subtle effects predicted by two theories of Albert Einstein’s relativity. Einstein’s first theory, His Special Theory of Relativity (1905), describes space-time, which is often compared to the artist’s canvas. The artist draws lines and dots on this beautiful canvas, which shows everything that ever happened, happens now and will. This canvas is the scene on which the play is played, not the play itself. The great achievement of the union of theatre and acting occurred a decade later, when Einstein announced his revolutionary theory of general relativity in 1915. In this second theory, Space-time becomes the main character of this best play. In this drama, Space-time tells the masses how to move, and the masses tell Space-time how to bend. Space-time is as flexible as a trampoline on which a child throws a bowling ball – a beautiful bowling ball, which is a solid heavy object, like a flaming star. The mass of the bowling ball creates a hole or hole on the cloth of the trampoline. Then, when a child throws a handful of balls on this fantastic trampoline, he will walk along a curved path around the “star” as if it were planets orbiting a real star. If you remove the bowling ball or star, the balls will move on straight paths. The mass of a bowling ball or star deforms the cloth of a trampoline or space-time. Gravity is a hole in the fabric of Space-Time, caused by the weight of a huge object.
Astronomers who discovered Einstein’s planet used predictions of relativity in their successful hunt for extraterrestrial worlds. The first method they used was called the radiation effect, which occurs when the light from the parent star becomes brighter when an alien planet draws it closer to Earth. The parent star then darkens a little as the planet moves away from it in its orbit. The effects of relativism cause particles of light, called photon, to group and focus in the direction of the parent star.
Astronomers used data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which provided very detailed observations, although Kepler was originally designed to detect alien planets using the transit method.
This detection method was first proposed in 2003 by Dr. Abraham (Avi) Loeb, a professor at Harvard University tel Aviv, and Dr. Scott Gowdy, who now works at Ohio State University.
This discovery was published in The Astrophysical Journal in May 2013.
This new Einstein-based method is best suited to the detection of the most gigantic extrasolar planets and cannot currently be used to search for small planets such as our Earth. However, this does not require very accurate measurements of the star’s velocity and does not require that the parent star and its planet are perfectly aligned when viewed from Earth. These are two major drawbacks of other most commonly used methods of hunting for planets.
“Every technology of hunting for planets has its strengths and weaknesses. And every new technology we add to the arsenal allows us to look for planets for new regimes,” Dr. Loeb told reporters on May 13, 2013.
Judith E. Braffman-Miller is a writer and astronomer whose articles have appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals since 1981. Although she has written on a variety of topics, she especially enjoys writing on astronomy as it gives her the opportunity to share many of the wonders of her field with others. His first book, “Fires, Ashes and Smoke,” will be out soon.