Amazing Discovery: A Planet that has only existed Theoretically, has been Discovered: Scientist are never relenting in studying the forces behind nature. And one amazing aspect of these studies are the ones about the planetary bodies. Using the various physics laws to discover other things that also co-exist with the solar system.
The Cosmic Unicorn
Researchers claim they have stumbled upon a ‘cosmic unicorn’: two planets in exactly the same orbit. In our solar system, all the planets have their own unique orbit around the Sun. Astronomers have never found two planets in the same orbit. or anyway… using Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have found tentative evidence of a planet that may orbit exactly the same as a previously known exoplanet. a breakthrough.
Trojans, rocky objects that share an orbit with a planet, are common in our own solar system. The most famous examples are Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. These are more than 12,000 rocky objects that are in the same orbit around the Sun as the gas giant. Astronomers have predicted that trojans may exist around stars other than our Sun, but evidence is scarce. In fact, there is even speculation that actual Trojan planets exist. “Exotrogens (Trojan planets outside the Solar System) are like unicorns so far: they exist on paper, but no one has ever discovered them,” said co-author George Lillow-Box.
pds 70 system
But researchers may be onto something after all. Using ALMA, they investigated the PDS 70 system, which is located about 400 light-years from Earth. The system consists of a young star and two giant, Jupiter-like planets, PDS 70b and PDS 70c. After a thorough analysis of the collected data, the team discovered a cloud of debris orbiting PDS 70b. According to them, this cloud may contain the building blocks of a new planet or the remnants of an already formed planet. If confirmed, the discovery would be the strongest evidence yet that two exoplanets can share an orbit.
Supporting this notion is that the debris cloud orbits PDS 70b at a location where Trojan planets are predicted to exist. The Trojans live in the so-called Lagrangian zone. These are two vast regions in the orbit of a planet where the combined gravity of the star and the planet keeps matter in its grip. When the researchers examined these two regions more closely, they detected a weak signal from one of them. This suggests that there may be a cloud of debris whose mass is about twice that of our Moon.
That’s why researchers are excited. Study co-author Olga Balsalobre-Ruza said, “Two decades ago, theory predicted that pairs of planets with similar masses could share the same orbit around their star, so-called trojans or co-orbital planets. ” “Now we’ve got proof of that idea for the first time.”
This means that PDS 70B can have only one sister. “Can you imagine two planets sharing the length and conditions of the year? Our work is the first evidence that such a world exists,” says Balsalobre-Ruza. “I find it amazing that planets can share the same orbit.”
However, we will have to wait a little longer before we can draw definite conclusions. Only in 2026 will researchers be able to use ALMA again to see if both PDS 70b and the debris cloud are moving in their orbit around the star. “It would be a breakthrough in exoplanet research,” says Balsalobre-Ruza.
In any case, the preliminary results are promising. In addition, the study raises interesting new questions about the formation of trojans, how they evolve and how common they are in various planetary systems. So the future of this research area is very exciting. “We look forward to the planned expansion of ALMA for 2030,” said researcher Itziar de Gregorio-Monsalvo. “With this we may be able to characterize many more Trojans.”
…are there trojans on our earth too? Two too! The first one was discovered in 2011 and the second one was discovered a few years back in 2020. And the latter is also quite large. It is an asteroid with an estimated size of 1.2 km and is at least three times larger than its companion Trojan. This means that such objects are common in our solar system. And not only with Jupiter, which carries thousands of Trojans, but also with Mars, Neptune, and even Earth. Moreover, the search for more is on. The holy grail in this regard is to find an Earthly primitive Trojan: a Trojan that has been in the same orbit since Earth’s formation. Such trojans can tell us more about the formation of our planet and also increase our understanding of the evolution of our solar system.