How Rare Are These Planets? Astronomers Discover a Star System With Two Super-Mercuaries and Three Super-Earths.
A rare star system has been spotted by astronomers. What makes it exceptionally rare is the presence of two super-mercuries and three super-earths. Super-mercuries, in particular, are remarkably unique and rare. In fact, there are currently only eight super-mercuries that have been spotted.
Extraordinarily Rare Star System With Two Super-Mercuries and Three Super-Earths
According to Space Academy, the spectrograph of the ESPRESSOR was able to pick up two worlds of super-mercuries within the HD 23472 star system. The study was included in the Astronomy & Astrophysics publication and delved into how the composition of tiny planets varied in terms of the planet’s position, temperature, and star attributes.
Project leader and researcher Susana Barros of the Institute of Astrophysics e Ciências do Espaço notes that the planetary system was specifically observed in order to characterize small planet composition and look into the transition between having and not having an atmosphere.
Space Academy reports how atmosphere evaporation could be linked to star irradiation. Barros notes how the team surprisingly discovered that the system comprised three different super-earths with a remarkable atmosphere as well as two super-mercuries, which are the planets that are closest to the star.
Solar System HD 23472
The said solar system consists of five exoplanets. Three of these exoplanets have smaller masses compared to that of earth. According to Curiosmos, these five planets were gauged through a radial velocity approach and were found to be some of the lightest exoplanets ever found. Through the technique, it is possible to trace small velocity variations due to planetary orbits.
The ESPRESSO, a spectrograph connected to the VLT at the ESO (European Southern Observatory) in Chile, granted high accuracy that enabled the astronomers to discover these celestial gems.
Both super-mercuries and super-earths have higher masses compared to mercury and earth when it comes to composition. What distinguishes them is that super-mercuries harbor higher quantities of iron. Such an exoplanet is considered remarkably rare, to the point where there are only eight known super-mercuries, including the two from this solar system.
The mantle of mercury could have gotten lost due to a strong impact or due to the fact that mercury is the hottest planet within the solar system. To know how such objects develop, it is important to discover other planets that are dense and similar to mercury which orbit around other stars.
IAC researcher and study co-author Jonay González expresses how the thought that a strong impact could have led to the creation of a super-mercury already seems quite impossible. González also notes how unlikely it is for two strong impacts to take place within a single system.
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