Planet Current Affairs - 2020

Super Earth discovered

The scientists from New Zealand have discovered the “Super Earth”. It potentially holds the conditions to sustain human life.

Highlights

The super earth is one of the handful of planets discovered that are of the same size and orbiting distance as that of the earth. The host star of the planet is 10% the mass of the sun.

About the planet

The planet is larger than the earth and hence the name “Super Earth”. The planet could be cold according to the scientists as the star is much smaller than the sun. Due to this reason, water may not exist in its liquid state, but might occur as ice. As the planet is heavier in mass, it might take 617 days to revolve around its star.

The super earth, according to the scientist might possess “Goldilocks Zone” in the future

What are Goldilocks Zone?

Goldilocks Zone is the space around a star where temperature aptly sustains water in liquid state.  The space also supports life.

The planet is 111 light years away from the earth and hence not very possible for humans to reach the planet.

International Astronomical Union names a star after Indian Woman Scientist

On December 17, 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named a white yellow star in Sextans Constellation as “Bhibha” and its planet as “Santamasa”

Highlights

The star has been named Bhibha honoring Indian Woman Scientist Bhibha Choudhury who discovered subatomic particle pi-meson. Bhibha means a bright beam of light in Bengali. The name Santamasa in Sanskrit means clouded. The name is appropriate as the planet’s atmosphere is clouded.

The IAU that celebrated its 100th birth anniversary on July 28, 2019, allowed every country to give a famous name to selected pair of exoplanet and its host star.

Bhibha star

Bhibha is an ageing star that is 6.2 billion years old and Santamsa is its only planet. The mass of the planet is expected to be 1.5 times as that of Jupiter and is very hot. Santamasa completed its revolution around its star in just about 2.1375 days.

Significantly, the 2019 nobel prize in Physics was awarded to the discovery of an exoplanet that is orbiting a star similar to that of the sun.

Pi Meson

In particle physics, pi meson or pion is a subatomic particle. They are unstable and existing with positive, negative and neutral charges. It means that they are present in proton, neutron and electron of an atom.