The next decade will be a “golden year” for human discovery of exoplanets

Beijing time on December 24, according to the U.S. Life Science website reported that the future we will find how many Earth-like planets? Can the true face of extraterrestrial life be revealed? With about 1,560 stars and thousands of planets scattered in the space region 50 light-years from Earth, about 1,000 exoplanets are rocky, with main components similar to Earth’s, and even the conditions in which some planets potentially breed life. Thanks to previous limitations of space exploration technology, 99 percent of exoplanets have not been observed, but now that things have changed, NASA’s TESS Space Telescope is expected to discover thousands of exoplanets.

The image shows the artist’s image of a neighboring star b that orbits the neighboring star, which is the closest star to Earth.

TESS, known as the Ling-Sun Exoplanet Space Telescope, is the new generation of the U.S. “Exoplanet Search Hunter” space telescope, capable of searching all-day for potential lynosies of nearby solar systems. The telescope orbits the Earth every 13.7 days on average, and some advanced land-based telescopes are expected to discover hundreds of exoplanets in the next few years.

This will dramatically change astronomers’ understanding of the extraterrestrial world around Earth and provide a target for a new generation of telescopes to scan for signs of life, and in just over a year, TESS has identified more than 1,200 exoplanets, 29 of which have been confirmed by astronomers as exoplanets. Based on the unique ability of the TESS telescope to simultaneously search for tens of thousands of star systems, it is expected to detect more than 10,000 exoplanets.

The TESS Space Telescope has excited astronomers, especially those exploring exoplanets, who are searching for exoplanets through land-based and space telescopes, studying and analyzing the characteristics of exoplanets and the possibility of breeding life.

A potentially large number of undetected exoplanets around Earth

Pictured is a space survey image of the Exoplanet Survey Telescope (TESS).

There are a large number of planets around the Earth to be surveyed and discovered, for example: in the case of a half-human horse next to a neighbor, this is an obscure faint red star, which is difficult to observe by ordinary telescopes, and there are hundreds of billions of similar stars in the Milky Way, and there is nothing unique except that it is our earth’s neighbor. A mysterious planet, called Anextstar b, orbited in the orbit of a half-human horse was not discovered by scientists until 2016.

Surprisingly, astronomers know very little about the neighboring star b, usually named the first planet found in a star system as “a star b”, which humans have never observed with the naked eye or telescope, knowing that its existence is based on its gravitational pull on the host star, which causes a slight wobble toward the neighboring star. An international team of astronomers based on data collected by several land-based telescopes found that the planet exists, and that the rock composition of the neighboring star b is very similar to Earth’ and that it receives heat from the star similar to Earth.

The exoplanet is exciting because it is in a habitable zone and may have Properties similar to Earth’s, such as rocky surfaces, liquid water, and even the atmosphere, which could potentially provide chemical life information.

Launched in April 2018, NASA’s TESS Space Telescope’s main goal is to search for Earth-sized planets, but the observations are unique, with the TESS Space Telescope searching for rare star darkening events that block some star light as planets pass in front of their main stars. The event not only indicates the existence of the planet, but also reveals the size and trajectory of the planet.

The prospect of an exoplanet is a major discovery, unlike the planets found in “star swings”, which could help further study the planet and determine the density of the planet and its atmospheric composition.

Red Dwarf

The most exciting thing for scientists is the smaller exoplanets, which the TESS Space Telescope can detect exoplanets orbiting red dwarfs, usually smaller and less than half the mass of the sun.

Each star system is different, for example: LP 791-18 is a red dwarf star 86 light-years from Earth, tesS space telescope around it found two exoplanets, one planet is “super-Earth”, its size is slightly larger than Earth, the main component is rock, the other planet is “mini starfish”, Smaller than Neptune, but rich in gas and ice, they are different from the planets of the solar system.

Astronomers believe that the closest exoplanet to Earth is LHS 3884b, which is similar in size to Earth, a hot “hot Earth” that orbits the main star very fast, each week for only 11 hours.

Earth-like planets that have so far found no potential signs of life

  In May 2016, a team of Belgian scientists announced the discovery of a planetary system orbiting a super-cold dwarf star named TRAPPIST-1, which found seven Earth-sized exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.

How similar are Earth-like planets detected so far to Earth? Astronomers have searched and studied the planet in detail, and a team of astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the hot “super-Earth” LHS 3884b, which showed that the planet’s environment is so scary that it has no atmosphere, that the planetises are covered with exposed rocks and can reach temperatures below 700 degrees Celsius at noon. The midnight temperature was close to absolute zero.

The TESS mission was initially funded for only two years, but because of the telescope’s better results, NASA plans to extend the mission until 2022 to spend more time scanning bright stars near Earth.

However, the search for exoplanets orbiting ultra-low-temperature stars remains a challenge, usually referring to stars with surface temperatures below 2,700 degrees Celsius, as ultra-low-temperature red dwarfs give us the best chance of finding and studying exoplanets similar to Earth’s size and temperature. Other planetary search projects are also concerned with TESS space telescope data.

Planet sitted in tesS telescopes

In May 2016, a team of Belgian scientists announced the discovery of a planetary system orbiting a super-cold dwarf star named TRAPPIST-1, a breakthrough discovery of seven Earth-sized exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.

The discovery also proves that small telescopes can still make revolutionary discoveries, with TRAPPIST land-based telescopes scanning the dim night sky from high altitudes for faintred red dwarfs in the Atacama Desert, looking for subtle changes in their brightness, and eventually discovering the phenomenon in the red dwarf TRAPPIST-1 system. Although the star is only 41 light-years from Earth, the brightness of the TESS telescope’s four 10 cm diameter lenses is too weak to detect, and if the TRAPPIST team had a larger-diameter telescope, its Earth-sized planets might not have been detected.

Currently, two exoplanet search projects are under way around the world, with the SPECULOOS team installing four mechanical telescopes in the Atacama Desert and one in North America, and the Extraterrestrial Discovery and Exploration Network (EDEN) project using nine land-based telescopes to continuously observe changes in red dwarfs.

The SPECULOOS and EDEN projects use telescope lenses larger than tesS space telescopes, helping to search for planets around stars that are too dim to be detected by TESS, including Sun-like Earth-like planets close to Earth.

Ten years of exploration of exoplanets

The next decade may be remembered, so we will survey the mysterious world beyond Earth through a variety of telescopes, The TESS space telescope is expected to find 1-15,000 exoplanets by 2025, and the European Space Agency’s GAIA and PLATO missions are expected to find another set of 2-35,000 exoplanets by 2030, with GAIA detecting the planets through star-swinging, and PLATO exploring them through the same lingday observations as the TESS telescope. Planet sensing.

However, even if we soon discover thousands of exoplanets, the closest exoplanets to Earth will be the preferred subjects for survey, and these planets have a number of characteristics that can be analyzed to analyze the existence of life-habitable conditions on the planet. At the same time, the discovery of the nearest Earth-like exoplanetrepresents a major advance in human exploration of the universe, and after mapping the solar system, humans began to turn to adjacent planetary systems. Maybe one day, planets that have not yet been discovered by neighboring planet b or nearby astronomers will be the preferred targets for interstellar probes, such as the Starshot project, or a manned starship, but first we’ll map these planets. (Ye Ding Cheng)

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