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The outer space revealed that an almost perfectly round object does, in fact, exist as astronomers have discovered such a celestial body in the form of Kepler 11145123.
The almost perfectly round planet was the discovery made by a team of astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Solar Research, the New York University Abu Dhabi, and the University of Tokyo.
Led by Laurent Gizon, the team published their study findings in the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal. The study was named “Shape of a Slowly Rotating Star Measured by Asteroseismology.”
Kepler 11145123 is an almost perfectly round located at a distance of about 5,000 light-years from our planet.
The planet is twice as big as our Solar System’s Sun but also rotates some three times more slow when compared to the Sun.
Although a slower spin translates into a weaker centrifugal force, the planet, which should have been quite oblate, is almost perfectly round.
Previous studies have embarked on a space exploration so that humanity may better understand the outer space. They had determined that our Sun was the roundest object, but this new planet goes to contradict the withheld belief.
The team of astronomers behind the new find used the asteroseismology domain so as to study the new find.
Asteroseismology offers more precise results than the more commonly used interferometry as it is also based on measurements of the modes of oscillation.
The used Kepler 11145123 data spanned over a period of four years worth of observations was gathered by the NASA Kepler mission.
The planet was observed to have a full axis rotation period of 100 days, with long-lived oscillation which corresponds to its brightness fluctuations.
A comparison between Kepler’s lower and higher region latitude revealed a radius difference in between the poles and the equator of just about 3 km.
As a 1 km difference is possible, its value would still place it as a space almost perfectly round object.
The Sun, which previously held the roundest position, has an equator to poles difference of about 10 km and a rotation period of almost 25 days.
In comparison, our Earth, which has a rotation period of now less than full 24 hours day, exhibits a poles to equator difference of more than 23 km.
The exact reasons for the asphericity or the degree to which a planet is not a sphere are as yet unknown. But scientists have come up with a number of possible reasons.
Amongst them, one can number the respective planet’s magnetic fields, the rotational velocity, thermal asphericity, strong stellar winds, or large scale flows.
Another element which is believed to be important to a star’s oblateness is the gravitational influence of its neighboring planets, especially the giant ones.
The scientists are now hoping to find other almost if not perfectly round objects as they will continue using asteroseismology.
The new technology will be used on other stars discovered by the Kepler, and will also probably used to analyze the future PLATO and TESS missions as well.
Image Source: Wikimedia