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Exocomets

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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

[SysBP Img]

Comets orbiting other stars. Can be detected by their their molecules passing in front of light beams from their star when they evaporate. The first was detected around Beta Pictoris. Three others were then found until a search in 2012 found six more.

Exocomets Web PagesEdit

Exocomets In the NewsEdit

Sample (Year)Edit


Known SystemsEdit

  • Beta Pictoris System (Jan 13) - Young massive star with the first discovered circumstellar disk and the source of most interstellar meteorites in the Solar System. Comet crystals were found to be similar composition as those in Solar System. The first exo-comet was discovered in this system in 1983 and is the only star known with a detected comet known to also have a planet. Hundreds of comets detected by transit, of which on average of 6 transits occur in a 30 minute spetra, have been placed into two groups. One family (Population D for "deep" absorption lines) were older comets depleted of their volatiles and trapped in mean motion resonance with planet b or another undiscovered one. The other is fresher (Population S for "shallow"), emit more dust, follow similar orbits, and may have been formed after the breakup of a larger object. Contains the youngest known exo-planet, which shows that Jupiter-like planets can form much quicker than previously believed. It is the closest-in exoplanet photographed and is at 8 AU and 7-11 Jupiter Masses and orbits in 20 years. This planet was first hinted at by studying dust disks in 2003 and first photographed in 2003, but it was not confirmed and was lost. It was imaged again in 2008, and became the first imaged exoplanet confirmed to move around its star in 2010. It has an effective temperature of 1,100 to 1,700C, showing that it is still warm and has retained much of its heat from its formation. Evidence of a planetary transit in 1981 was found in record. It was originally thought that a second planet must have caused a tilt in one of the disks, but now it known that the first planet is. Models show that it could create waves and spirals in the disk. Some data suggests the planet is unusually wide, perhaps evidence of a ring system around it. The planet is traveling through a relatively dust-free gap in the debris disk, and thought to be clearing it. The planet is losing momentum as it travels through the debris disk. A large belt of carbon monoxide 50-160 AU concentrated at 85 AU has been observed, possibly caused by collision of comets. A Saturn sized planet interior to the belt that is not currently detectable due to being edge on in the disk could be shepherding it. It is possible that diamond-planets are forming in the disk. A cubesat could target this star in search of a second planet using the transit method since the system is edge-on. Principle member of the Beta Pictoris Moving Group.
  • 49 Ceti System (Jan 13) - An ancient star (40 MYO) surrounded by a young looking vast amount of dust. It is surrounded by a tremendous amount of gas which would usually disappear by 10 Million Years of age. This is thought to be rejuvenated by the collisions of comets, about one every six seconds for the past 10 Million Years. The belt is about as large as the Kuiper Belt, but is 4,000 times more massive. The comets contain more carbon monoxide than comets in our solar system, which is released when they collide. Direct evidence of a comet was discovered in 2013 along with 6 other systems, bringing the total number of known exocomets to 10.
  • 5 Vulpeculae System (Jan 13) - 5 Vulpeculae is also known as HD 182919. One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • 2 Andromedae System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • HD 21620 System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • HD 42111 System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.
  • HD 110411 System (Jan 13) - One of six young (about 5 Million Years old) hot A-class stars discovered to have an exo-comet, bringing the total up to 10.

See AlsoEdit

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