First-ever radio signal from 51 light years away from the earth

Researchers from Cornell University discovered emission bursts from the Tau Bootes exoplanet system   | Photo Credit: Cornell University

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Using Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a radio telescope, in the Netherlands, a team of researchers from Cornell University discovered emission bursts from the Tau Bootes exoplanet system, 51 light-years away from the earth.

The detected radio signals could be the first-ever radio emission from a planet beyond our solar system, the team said.

“We present one of the first hints of detecting an exoplanet in the radio realm,” said Jake Turner, a postdoctoral fellow and study team leader at Cornell University.

Studying an exoplanet’s magnetic field helps to understand its interior and atmospheric properties, and interactions between stars and planets, the team said.

The magnetic field of an Earth-like exoplanet may contribute to the possible habitability by protecting the planet from solar wind and cosmic rays, they added.

"This radio detection opens up a new window on exoplanets, giving us a novel way to examine alien worlds that are tens of light-years away," said Ray Jayawardhana, Professor of astronomy at Cornell University.

The team has started to follow up on the radio signal from Tau Bootes using multiple radio telescopes. The team spent nearly 100-hours of radio observations to find the signal from the system, which contains a binary star and an exoplanet.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 10:28:06 PM |

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