V1298 Tau is scorching its baby planets
By Admin - 2020-06-14 16:07:22

V1298 Tau is a 25 million-year-old star that is 1.3 times larger than our Sun and 350 lightyears away from earth.

V1298 Tau is orbited by four exoplanets, two of which are in an inner orbit and the remaining two in the outer orbit. The ones that are in the inner orbit are approximately the size of Neptune, making them four times larger than the earth. The ones in the outer orbit are the size of Saturn, and hence, are nine times larger than the earth.

As a star grows old, it becomes more stable. Such as, the Sun that has been around for nearly 4.6 billion years. With its total life span being estimated to 5 billion years, the Sun is done with almost half of its total lifespan. Older stars also tend to give out less X-ray radiation, given that their rotation slows down over time, weakening their magnetism.

Being only 25 million years old, V1298 Tau gives out 10 thousand times more X-ray radiation than the sun. A recent study shows that V1298 Tau will reduce its orbiting exoplanets to a rocky core over the years.

A planet takes around one to ten million years to form. A planet formation is brought about when the gas and dust particles orbiting a star are brought together by the gravitational forces. The atmosphere that later forms around the core of the planet is then dependent on the star it is orbiting.

Astrophysicists are interested in finding thick atmospheres around the planets, as it is the only possibility that they could host life. Scientists observed that owing to the strong X-ray radiations of V1298 Tau, its orbiting planets will be stripped of their atmosphere in the future, only leaving the core behind.

Astrophysicists are in a hunt to find planets in the outer space that could host life. These findings could be of immense help to their future research.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/staa1462