Space

Students help in the identification of 4 new planets

According to a recent analysis, two high school students from Massachusetts, Kartik Pinglé and Jasmine Wright, have engineered the identification of four alien planets. These students have been publishers in the discovery paper of the Astronomical Journal. The students realized the four alien planets through the Student Research Mentoring Program (SRMP) at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) while figuring out how they can grow their projects. SRMP director Clara Sousa-Silva stated that these students would have something to smile about at the end of the program. They have unveiled advanced research techniques in Astrophysics that scientists and astronomers couldn’t discover. The two students have been working with a postdoctoral researcher at MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, Tansu Daylan, who led them in authoring the paper.

Daylan, the two students, and their team conducted verification studies on the observations for star HD 108236 recorded by Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) of NASA to prove that the star was actually an alien planet. This satellite monitors the alien worlds while orbiting space and managed to picture four planets that the team analyzed before concluding they were new planets. Wright expressed his excitement after discovering the four alien planets with her team. She explained that they knew from the beginning that this discovery was the Daylan research aim but couldn’t imagine being part of the discovering team. Three of these alien planets are gaseous and a bit smaller than Neptune. The fourth is a mega planet bigger than Earth, according to the researchers. These four planets are in close proximity to HD 108236, whose orbital path is between 4 Earth days to 19.5 Earth days. Daylan stated that the new planets are fascinating and a worthy venture for space explorers and scientists.

Daylan articulated that the desire of the scientists to make more discoveries about the solar system and other galaxies is paying off with such discoveries. He added that they are beginning to fathom the theories put forward, like the big bang theory, in a different light, explaining how the solar system came into being. Dylan has been working with the students who have been instrumental in the research, of course, with some incentives to motivate them. Sousa-Silva stated that the students were paid for this research to motivate them to venture into the field and other aspirations that they might have. Pinglé and Wright might be journeying this path since they expressed their zeal and passion for the field, which motivated them to make these discoveries.

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