Some planets spin backwards challenge science

Some planets spin backwards challenge science - the Wrong Way

Swiss astronomers have discovered previously unknown nine planets outside our Solar System.The news could be more of the many announcements of new exoplanets found beyond these limits, known as 452, but the discovery of these worlds has helped to know a strange peculiarity. Some of them, and others already knew, but had not revealed this mystery-orbit in the opposite direction to the rotation of the star, as opposed to what happens with the Earth and other planets that accompany us in this great dance with the sun, with the exception of Mercury, “which is more than surprising. This finding represents a serious and unexpected challenge for current theories of planet formation.

“It’s a real bomb,” says Amaury Triaud, a doctoral student at the Geneva Observatory, one of those responsible for monitoring the transit of these planets. At present, it is believed that planets form in the disk of gas and dust surrounding a young star. This disk, known as protoplanetary, broken in the same direction as the star. Of course, planets are expected to form from orbiting drive more or less the same level and in the same direction that its star, or fulfilling an order.

“The new findings certainly challenge the conventional wisdom that planets should always orbit in the same direction as the star rotates,” says Andrew Cameron of the University of St. Andrews, who presented the new results at the National Astronomy Meeting of the UnitedKingdom, held this week in Glasgow.

In the 15 years since they were first discovered hot Jupiter, its origin has been a real puzzle. To explain the retrograde motion of the new exoplanets, an alternative migration theory suggests that the proximity of hot Jupiters to their parent stars is not due to interactions with the dust disk, but a slow evolutionary process that involves “a tug of gravitational loosens stars or planets more distant companions, “over hundreds of millions of years. After these disturbances have been pushed to take a giant extrasolar planet tilted, elongated orbit, the friction associated with the tidal forces it to lose energy every time it passes near the star. May finally be settled in a nearly circular orbit, close to the star, but with a random inclination. ”A severe side effect of this process is that it could kill any small planet like Earth present in these systems,” said Didier Queloz, Geneva Observatory.

In two of the retrograde planets have been found recently discovered massive and distant fellow that could potentially be the cause of the disturbance. These new results will push for an intense search for new bodies in other planetary systems.