Artist’s concept of a red dwarf star and its orbiting planet. The planet’s magnetic field is interacting with a wind of charged particles from the star, thereby creating auroras on the planet and emitting radio waves. Astronomers detected the radio signals and believe they can explain them if 19 previously hidden planets are interacting with their stars – and producing auroras – in this way. Image via Astron/ Danielle Futselaar/ Artsource.nl.
19 new exoplanet candidates
Astronomers said on October 11, 2021, that they believe they’ve detected 19 hidden exoplanets, or planets orbiting distant stars. They found these exoplanet candidates through the planets’ interactions with their parent stars, which are small, dim red dwarfs. Joseph Callingham of Leiden University led this new research. He said:
We’ve long known that the planets of our own solar system emit powerful radio waves as their magnetic fields interact with the solar wind. This same process drives the beautiful auroras we see at the poles of Earth.
Likewise, these scientists believe, the red dwarf stars they studied are driving a magnetic connection, and subsequent auroras, on the 19 previously unknown planets. The process is producing radio waves, which these scientists detected using the Low ...