The β Pictoris system has enthralled astronauts for the past 3 Decades since it allows them to monitor a planetary system in the procedure of being created around its star. Comets have been found in the system, along with β Pictoris b (a gas giant) found by direct imaging and defined by Lagrange’s team in 2009.
Now, the group had to analyze over a decade of high-resolution info, received at ESO’s La Silla Observatory using the HARPS instrument in Chile, so as to indirectly find the presence of β Pictoris c2. This second huge star, which has 9 times more mass as compared to that of Jupiter, finishes its orbit in almost 1200 Days. The planet is comparatively close to its star (almost the distance between the asteroid belt and the Sun, whereas β Pictoris b is more than three times away).
The scientists expect to know more about the planet from info received from the Extremely Large Telescope (now in development) and from the GAIA spacecraft in Chile.
On a related note, in the mission to find life on other planets, astronauts search planets that are situated light-years away. They want methods to find life from afar—but what can be counted as good proof? Our own planet offers some motivation. Photosynthesizing plants expel oxygen; microbes crowd the air with methane. Maybe these gases may be detected wherever life is present.
University of Colorado’s astronomer Kevin France claims that you must see further than the planet itself, all the way to the shining star it orbits. France and his group developed the SISTINE mission. Using a rocket for a 15-minute flight, the mission will monitor far-off stars to assist interpret hints of life on the planets that revolve around them. The mission will blast off in New Mexico from the White Sands Missile Range.