Saturday, May 15

The star Vega could be surrounded by exotic worlds

The star Vega could be surrounded by exotic worlds

The star Vega could be surrounded by exotic worlds

A fiery planet orbits the star Vega, located 25 light-years from Earth, according to a recent astronomical discovery. Along with this star, which registers temperatures around 2976 ºC, other strange planets could be orbiting the star located in the constellation Lyra.

Astronomers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and other academic centers have discovered that Vega, the fifth brightest star in the night sky, located 25 light years from Earth, has a planet that orbits it in annual periods lasting less than two days. and half terrestrial. It is the second hottest world known, with surface temperatures averaging 2976 ºC. Astronomers suspect that other exotic worlds may orbit the star in the constellation Lyra.

The star Vega is relatively easy to observe from Earth for scientists: its closeness to our planet and its intense brightness make it an excellent possibility for the work of astronomers. However, so far the presence of planets orbiting this colossal light source had not been verified.

What is the reason for this difficulty, if the proximity or the luminosity favor the observations? Vega happens to be a young and extraordinarily fast star. For example, it rotates around its axis at a faster speed than the Sun: it does so every 16 Earth hours. This condition makes research difficult and, consequently, the finding of planets that could orbit this star.

Now the situation seems to have changed. According to a release, American astronomers have found a huge and hot planet that orbits Vega: its surface has temperatures that are close to 3,000 degrees Celsius. According to experts’ estimates, the new hot world could be similar in size to the planet Jupiter.

Giant, hot and inflated

Taking into account that this star is located closer to Vega than Mercury to our Sun, its conditions are extreme and eliminate any possibility of life. On this fiery planet capable of inflating like a balloon, materials such as iron would melt and transform into gas upon contact with its atmosphere.

Despite being such a hostile world, his find is transcendent because it would open the stage to continue investigating the nearby and brilliant Vega. According to the astronomers who conducted this new research, the star should host much more than a single planet. Considering its conditions and location, it would have to be home to a massive system, much larger than the Solar System itself.

On the other hand, although more than 4,000 exoplanets So far around other stars, in most cases they are located at a great distance from the Earth. On the other hand, if the signals found around the presence of a planet orbiting Vega are confirmed, it would be a special case: an exotic world but relatively close to ours.

A great possibility

For Samuel Quinn, one of the authors of the new study, “it would be exciting to find a planet around Vega, because it offers unbeatable possibilities for future characterization, at a level that planets around weaker stars in terms of luminosity cannot provide”, Indian.

Although the clues appear to be significant, the presence of this large planet around Vega cannot yet be fully confirmed. To achieve this, astronomers will have to directly scan the star system in question, to search for the light emitted by the planet to be located. The conclusions of the study carried out by the scientists were published in The Astronomical Journal and collect ten years of observations.


A Decade of Radial-velocity Monitoring of Vega and New Limits on the Presence of Planets. Spencer A. Hurt et al. The Astronomical Journal (2021).DOI:


Artist’s rendering of KELT-9b, currently the most popular and well-known exoplanet, which could look like the planet orbiting Vega. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

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