A research team from the University of Exeter in the UK has announced that from a physical perspective, binary planetary systems are easy to form and due to their unique properties, they could become one of the most important targets in the search for life on other planets.
To obtain the results, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, the researchers conducted several sets of simulations of 100 planetary systems expected to exist in our own Milky Way environment or in other galaxies. These simulations analyze the formation process of rocky planets. A system consisting of 2 to 5 primary planets.
A binary planet is a term used to describe two celestial bodies orbiting each other, both of which have planetary masses. The two planets typically orbit a common center of mass located between the two celestial bodies. The solar system has a close model, Pluto and Charon, but they are considered double dwarf planets, not binary planets.
It is thought that this type of planetary system usually originates from a catastrophic collision in ancient times, where two planets collided and broke apart, and then the fragments came together again to form two planets orbiting each other. This is also the mechanism. The formation of the Earth-Moon system and the Pluto and Charon systems.
The following video from the study’s authors explains how binary planets are created:
According to the study, researchers found that double planet formation is more likely than scientists previously thought. In addition, researchers also revealed that the gravitational pull between the two planets is interconnected, causing the temperature inside each to increase. Their ascent, thereby raising the temperature of their surfaces, means that there could be a planet in a region far away from its orbiting star, but still be mild due to its gravitational interaction with its orbiting planet atmosphere and.
One of the most famous examples of this is Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, which is affected by Jupiter’s gravity, causing it to become hotter. Therefore, scientists believe that even though it is five times farther from the sun than Earth is from the sun, there is still a warm ocean beneath its icy surface.
One example of this range that scientists are currently interested in is Kepler 1708b, a Jupiter-sized planet discovered in 2011 that orbits a sun-like star about 5,600 light-years from Earth.
In 2021, “Nature” magazine published a study that, after analyzing data released by NASA’s Kepler Space Observatory, confirmed that Kepler 1708b is a binary planet orbiting another Neptune-sized planet. planet.
Last July, a team led by scientists from the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid, Spain, confirmed that the emerging star system PDS 70, 400 light-years from Earth, has two Jupiter-sized protoplanets believed to be in the same orbit. . At some point, they may orbit each other.