In the past, astronomers could only find the nearest star by radio emission. Everything else was interstellar gases or as rare as a black hole.
Madrid. (European News.) Scientists have discovered stars that emit radio waves accidentally using the strongest radio antenna on the planet. This could indicate the existence hidden planets.
Dr. Benjamin Pope of University of Queensland, Australia, and his colleagues from the ASTRON National Observatory, Netherlands have been using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, the Low Frequency Array, (LOFAR), in the Netherlands to search for planets.
He said, “This discovery is a significant step in radioastronomy and may lead us to the discovery planets throughout our Milky Way.”
Astronomers used to be able to detect the closest star by listening for radio emission. Anything else in the radio spectrum was interstellar or as strange as a dark hole. Radio astronomers are now able to see simple stars and can use this information to search for planets around these stars.
The red dwarfs were the main focus of the team. These are much smaller than sunspots and are known for having strong magnetic activity which can generate radio emissions and stellar flares. However, it was also observed that some stars were not magnetically active at all, which is challenging the conventional wisdom.
Leiden University’s Dr. Joseph Callingham is the principal author of this discovery. The team believes these signals are due to magnetic connections between planets and stars invisible in orbit. This is similar to the interaction of Jupiter and its moon. Io.
“Our planet’s aurora can be called the southern or northern lights. They also emit strong radio waves. This happens because the earth’s magnet field interacts with the sun’s wind. The aurora power of Jupiter is due to the fact that its volcanic satellite Io emits matter into space, filling Jupiter with particles and thereby driving an extremely powerful aurora.
Callingham explained that the stellar radio emission model is a scaled-down version of Jupiter or Io. It involves a planet being surrounded by a stellar magnet field. This magnetic field transports matter into an enormous electric current and drives bright aurora. He admitted that the spectacle has caught our attention from light years away.
The team is now trying to verify whether the proposed planet actually exists. Pope stated that while we cannot be certain that the planets that are believed to have been created by the stars with planets Pope believes that planet-star interactions provide the best explanation.
He continued, “Subsequent observations ruled planets that were more massive than Earth out, but it is not impossible to predict that smaller planets would do this.”
Although LOFAR was discovered in the early stages of its existence, the telescope is able to observe stars at a relatively close distance, up to 165 light years away.
The team expects to be able see hundreds of similar stars from greater distances with the construction of radio telescopes square kilometers arrays in Australia, South Africa and South Africa.