Astronomers from the University of Geneva and the Swiss PlanetS Institute have found a system of six exoplanets. According to researchers, they formed far from the star, but eventually attracted to it.
Now astronomers know about 4 thousand exoplanets in 3 thousand star systems. Most of these planets are not integrated into systems and do not interact with each other; only a few hundred stellar systems were multi-planetary. But scientists rarely found systems with six or more planets – there are only about ten of them.
Astronomers were able to detect such a system while observing the star HD 158259, which is located about 88 light-years from Earth; the last seven years it was studied using a SOPHIE spectrograph. The new data allowed the international team of researchers to announce the discovery of a system of six planets that rotate in the “orbital harmony” mode.
This term means that the orbits of two bodies around a central object are closely connected and exert a gravitational influence on each other. In the solar system, this state can be observed on the example of Pluto and Neptune – for every two turns that Pluto makes around the Sun, Neptune makes three. In this system, however, by three turns of the planet closest to the star, the second object makes two turns. For every three turns of the second planet, there are two turns of the third, etc.
According to experts, this is not an ideal “orbital harmony”, but their location is quite rare. According to the researchers, this system has signs that the planets formed far from the star and then migrated to it.