Do you Know About Super Saturn [J1407b] The low-mass companion J1407b has been referred to “Super Saturn” due to its massive rings with a radius of approximately 90 million km. Lets have a deep look at Saturn, super Saturn and the most interesting method used to discover this planet.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in our solar system, Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium
Saturn has special rings of small, solid particles around it. These rings have an extensive radius of two hundred eighty-two thousand kilometres. The disks around the planet mainly comprise of tiny rock particles and dust. Saturn is unique among all the planets, although it is not the only planet to have rings which are made of chunks of ice and rock. But none are as spectacular as Saturn’s. As Saturn is a gas giant so it does not have a true surface.
The planet is mostly gases and liquids. So, a spacecraft can’t land on Saturn, it wouldn’t be able to even fly through it. The extreme pressures and temperatures deep inside the planet would crush, melt and vaporize the spacecraft.
Super Saturn J1407b
But now scientists have come to know that Saturn is not the only planet to have an amazing ring system. There is a planet known as J1407b that is a gas giant with a massive ring system. The planet possesses one of the largest known ring systems in the galaxy. We can call it the actual Lord of the Rings. For obvious reason, this gas giant has nearly thirty-seven rings, which account for a diameter of one hundred twenty million kilometres, which is more than two hundred times as large as the rings of Saturn. You can imagine the vastness is the distance of sun from Earth is only one hundred forty-eight million kilometres, which makes its rings almost the distance between Earth and the sun.
Unfortunately, this planet is four hundred sixty light years away from us, so it’s practically not possible to visit this planet any time soon. Even if we travel at the speed of light, which is the fastest possible speed in the universe, it will take four hundred sixty years to visit this planet.
But it would be amazing to watch the substantial rings with our eyes if we put this planet rings in the place of Saturn’s, the rings could be seen from the earth with naked eyes.
Wouldn’t it be an amazing view? Moreover, they will appear a hundred times bigger than a full moon as this planet is mostly made of gaseous matter. You cannot land or take a walk on the surface of the planet, but it would not be less astonishing just to see a planet with such huge rings. Space scientists have declared J1407b as a planet, but it may be somewhere between a planet and a star. Considering its huge mass.
This giant can be called as a brown dwarf. A brown dwarf is an object that has a size between a gas giant planet like Jupiter and a small star. It is feared that this planet will not always stay like this, which means the rings may not sustain long. The rings may be transformed into moons of the planet, just like Saturn Zadie two moons. Researchers believe that J1407B is a younger than Saturn.
This planet is only six million years old, but Saturn is 4.5 billion years old. It is also now assumed that Saturn or Jupiter may had enormous rings around in their earlier days. In the long run, these rings may have converted into their moons.
How did Astronomers Discover this amazing planet?
First, you need to know the method used for detecting exoplanets, which means planets outside our solar system. Most exoplanets are detected using something called the transit method.
When a planet passes in front of its star, it’s called a transit. As the planet transits in front of the star, it blocks out a little bit of the star’s light. That means a star will look a little less bright when the planet passes in front of it. Astronomers can observe how the brightness of the star changes during a transit. This can help them figure out the size of the planet by studying the time between transits. Astronomers can also find out how far away the planet is from its star.
This tells us something about the planet’s temperature. If a planet is just the right temperature, it could contain liquid water, which is an important ingredient for life. Now, coming back to super Saturn, the discovery of the giant rings was completely accidental. In 2011, Mark Pequod was looking at data from the Super WASP exoplanet search. He was interested in stars, not planets. But the Super WASP archive had data on these as well, and in particular on the rotation rates of young stars.
All of the stars looked unremarkable except for one. He noticed an odd waxing and waning of the star’s light. He knew that he had found something remarkably weird instead of dimming slightly for a few hours, as would happen if a planet passed in front of the star. This star had flickered for about two months, dimmer than a little brighter than dimmer. Again, that first, he thought, is just looking at noise in the camera. But the information was extraordinarily clear, he said.
It’s one of the most beautiful data sets I’ve ever seen. The astronomers realized right away that they might be looking at a system of rings passing in front of the star. But for the Rings passage to last two months, they would have to be gigantic, much larger than any ever seen before. The team worked hard to see if there could be another explanation that could be dimming the star. After a year of research, they finally announced their discovery in 2012.