Scientists for first time saw eclipses of binary star shed light on orbiting exoplanet
A team of scientists from Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru and University of Delhi for the first time have seen indications of a massive planet orbiting a low mass X-ray binary star system.
The system MXB 1658-298 is an X-ray binary and a part of the constellation Ophiuchus (serpent bearer). It is nearly 30,000 light years away and the planet is expected to be nearly 8,000 times as massive as the earth.
- X-ray binaries consist of a pair of stars orbiting each other of which one is compact one such as a black hole or a neutron star.
- In this case it is a neutron star which draws matter from its less-massive companion and generates X-rays which are detected by detectors placed in satellites in space.
- This discovery is made with a new technique, X-Ray observation by measuring periodic delays in X-ray eclipses. It is a new technique of detecting exoplanets and observations are done from space observatories.
- In X-ray binaries, the time in-between eclipses of the source can increase, decrease and also shows abrupt changes. But in MXB 1658-298, time between the eclipses increases and decreases periodically.