Jupiter’s ‘twin’ search

Astronomers have discovered a new planet. It is almost exactly like Jupiter. The mass is almost equal. So scientists have described it as the ‘twin’ of Jupiter. It is orbiting a star 18,000 light-years from Earth.

According to Indian media NDTV, a team of international scientists has discovered the new planet by studying data sent by NASA’s Kepler satellite telescope. Kepler sent the information in 2016. So far, the telescope has found more than 2,600 planets in the Milky Way galaxy. However, it is the farthest known planet from the data sent by Kepler so far.

The planet, which is similar to Jupiter in many ways, has been named ‘K2-2018 – BGL-0005 LB’. Its mass is not much larger than that of Jupiter, only 1.1 times. And the star that orbits the planet is about 60 percent the mass of the Sun.

There are more surprising similarities. Jupiter’s position is 482 million miles away from the Sun. On the other hand, the distance from the star K2-2017-BGL-0005 LB orbiting it is 42 crore miles.

Scientists have used Einstein’s famous theory of ‘relativity’ and ‘gravitational microlensing’ to find the new planet. The study was published in the monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, a London-based astronomical organization.

The research was led by David Spechet, a PhD student at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. They worked with information sent by Kepler from April to July 2016 to find the planet through microlensing. At that time, the telescope was watching the billions of stars in our galaxy.

Praising Kepler’s capabilities, Eamonn Carrins, an official with the UK’s Council on Science and Technology Facilities, said Kepler was not designed to discover planets using microlensing methods. Then it was done through the telescope. The subject matter is remarkable.

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