What would the solar system look like?  The Webb telescope has discovered giant planets orbiting white dwarfs

This discovery may help us understand the future of our solar system. The James Webb Space Telescope has imaged what appear to be two giant exoplanets orbiting white dwarf stars. One day, our planetary system might look like this. However, the place of the outer planets will be replaced by Jupiter and Saturn.

Everything has an end. until Billions of years of a star's life. The most massive ones depart in a stunning supernova explosion. However, most stars will end their lives more peacefully, shedding their outer layers into space.

It is then created glowing nebula, which surrounds the exposed core of the star. This nucleus changes into what is called White dwarf. It is a body with a mass similar to the mass of the Sun, but surrounded by a sphere similar in size to the Earth. Starting The white dwarf is extremely hotHowever, it cools over the next billion years.

But not only stars evolve. Their fate directly affects the planets surrounding them. when Our sun It will begin a long period of its cosmic torment, at first it will grow more than 200 times. Become Red giant It will consume Mercury, Venus, and perhaps Earth as well. What about Mars, especially the giant exoplanets?

In order to better understand their plight, we must investigate Planets that survived a star's transformation into a white dwarf. And this is exactly what recent observations have been made using extremely sensitive instruments of our new cosmic eye. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

So far, only a few planetary-mass objects have been discovered orbiting white dwarfs. However, astronomers believe there are many more. Up to half of all observed white dwarfs appear to contain metals in their spectra.

exactly Traces of minerals indicate that stars collect material from planets or asteroids that are not visible to our telescopes. According to the researchers, if giant planets are common around white dwarfs that show metals in their spectra, this could mean that such planets Are able to survive the red giant stage.

Exoplanets orbit white dwarfs/form. Mulally et al. 2024, CC-BY-4.0

Dr. Susan Mulally and her colleagues at the Space Telescope Science Institute noted Four white dwarfs may harbor planets. The stars she chose contain metals in their atmospheres. Even before the white dwarf's light was digitally removed from the images, Dr. Mulally's team saw what they were looking for. that it Potential giant exoplanet. This has been achieved for two of the four white dwarfs.

Observations by the James Webb Space Telescope show red objects near two white dwarfs. If these objects are indeed planets of the same age as their white dwarf parents (5.3 and 1.6 billion years), their masses would likely be 1-7 and 1-2 Jupiter masses, respectively. It currently orbits at distances of 11.47 and 34.62 astronomical units. This corresponds to orbital distances of 5.3 AU and 9.7 AU when their host stars were on the main sequence. that it They orbited at a similar distance from their parent star as Jupiter and Saturn do from the Sun.

If future James Webb Space Telescope observations confirm these assumptions, it will mark the first direct detection of planets similar to the gas giants in our solar system in terms of age, mass, and orbital distance. Moreover, it will be evidence of this Planets may survive the expansion phase of a dying host star, and giant planets may exist widely around white dwarfs. Our solar system may look similar in the future.

source: Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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