The researchers found what are the most common planets in our Galaxy.
It turned out that the most common class of extrasolar planets are similar to Neptune.
Scientists can determine what extrasolar planets can often meet in the milky Way. The conclusions differ from the theoretical calculations done earlier. A new study was presented in the Astrophysical Journal.
Representing space flight Center NASA them. Goddard (USA) Daisuke Suzuki (Suzuki Daisuke) and his colleagues used for observing planets, the new Zealand MOA telescope-II. The scientists used a method of finding planets is called gravitational microlensing. Its essence lies in the fact that the gravitational field of the closer star can act like a lens, magnifying the light from more distant star. If the foreground star has a planet, its gravitational field can make a significant contribution to the lensing effect. The detection method can be used only when both stars are exactly aligned along a straight line.
Another disadvantage of gravitational microlensing is that it does not allow to determine precisely the place where a planet is located. On the other hand, in comparison with the same transit method, gravitational microlenses can help to find even small planets, and distant from us at a very great distance.
Daisuke Suzuki and his colleagues conducted a large-scale “census” of the planets of the milky Way, by actually observing the 3.3 thousand microinsurance. It turned out that the most common planets have a mass that exceeds the mass of the Earth is 10-40 times. However, these exoplanets do not reach in size up to giants such as Jupiter or Saturn. A cold Neptune – that the dominant class of planets in the Galaxy. Celestial bodies have masses comparable to Neptune and are at a distance of two or more astronomical units from its star. Note that a large distance to relatives bodies hinders the detection of planets of this class.
Scientists believe that the reason for the prevalence of cold Neptune is that they appear in the region of the protoplanetary disk, the most rich in matter for the development of the planets.
Earlier, another group of experts has estimated the size of the “ground” sleeve of the milky Way.
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