Astronomers first discovered an exoplanet around a rapidly rotating star called a pulsar 30 years ago. These exoplanets are extremely rare, astronomers from the University of Manchester have revealed.
The new work was presented at the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM22) on 12 July by Iuliana Neetu, a researcher at the University of Manchester.
Astronomers are not currently aware of the processes that cause planets to form and survive around pulsars. The Jodrell Bank Observatory followed a survey of 800 pulsars over the past 50 years. The survey showed that the exoplanet system detected for the first time may be extraordinarily unusual. This is because less than 0.5 percent of all known pulsars may host Earth-mass planets.
What are Pulsars?
Pulsars are a type of neutron star produced during powerful explosions at the end of a typical star’s life. They are the densest stars in the universe, and are exceptionally stable, spin rapidly, and have incredibly strong magnetic fields. These stars emit beams of bright radio emission from their magnetic poles which appear to pulsate as the star rotates.
According to a statement issued by the Royal Astronomical Society, Iuliana Neetu said that pulsars generate signals that rotate every time the Earth rotates, similar to a cosmic lighthouse. The signals produced by pulsars can be picked up by radio telescopes and turned into a lot of amazing science.
Which pulsar orbits an exoplanet for the first time?
The first exoplanet was discovered in 1992 by Alexander Volczyn orbiting a pulsar named PSR B1257+12. Astronomers now know that the planetary system hosts at least three planets similar in mass to the rocky planets in our Solar System.
Since 1992, a handful of pulsars have been found to host planets. According to the Royal Astronomical Society, the extremely violent conditions surrounding the birth and life of pulsars make the possibility of ‘normal’ planet formation, and many of these known planets, are alien objects. For example, there are some planets that are mostly made of diamonds. These planets are probably the only known ones in our solar system.
Formation of pulsar-planet systems different from conventional star-planet systems
Astronomers from the University of Manchester made the largest discovery of planets orbiting pulsars to date, looking for signs that indicate the presence of planetary companions with masses 100 times that of Earth and orbital time periods between 20 days and 17 years. Huh. Astronomers detected 10 possible candidates. The most promising candidate is the system PSR J2007+3120.
According to the Royal Astronomical Society, the planet is likely to host at least two planets with masses a few times that of Earth, and orbital periods between 1.9 and 3.6 years.
The results offer information about the shape of the orbits of these planets. In contrast to the near-circular orbits found in the Solar System, planets will orbit their stars on highly elliptical paths, indicating that the formation process for pulsar-planet systems is quite different from that of traditional star-planet systems.