Is the solar system common or atypical? As our statistics about planetary systems increase, researchers can begin to address questions like these, as well as understand what leads to the huge variety of configurations that a family of planets can assume around a star. A quartet of researchers is now arguing that they can be grouped into four basic categories.
in Published article In the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Lokesh Mishra, Tan Alibert and Christophe Mordacini of the University of Bern and Stefan Oudry of the University of Geneva point out that planetary systems can come in similar, ordered, mixed and antipyretic flavors. But what does this mean? Well, basically, it depends on which parameter you want to study. For that first moment, the researchers focused on the masses.
A similar class system is one in which all planets are of similar mass. Ordered are those which, like ours, show a general tendency to increase in mass, from the innermost planet to the outermost. The antiplanets will be the opposite: the planets with the greatest mass are in the interior, and the planets with the least mass are in the outer regions. And the mix will be where the mass fluctuates wildly from planet to planet, with no specific general trend.
To explore the usefulness of this discrimination procedure, the group applied its categories to two catalogs, one of 41 real systems, with four or more planets, at least four of which have the estimated mass, and another to hypothetical systems, a thousand of them, “Gestados” in a computer simulation. The idea was to compare what is seen in the real world (incomplete due to observational limitations) with simulations (complete, but imprecise, given the simplification of operations).
In fact, there was a discrepancy between the two results. In real systems, the majority (59%) belong to the same class. Ordered systems (eg Solar, listed in the catalog) accounted for 37%. Another 5% were mixed architecture. None of them are against ordination.
In thousands of simulated systems, variable initial variables such as the mass of the formation disk and the amount of heavy elements (after what happens in reality), the numbers were different. Again, the similar category came out on top, but with 80.2%. About 8% of virtualized systems ended up with mixed or anti-order builds. And only 1.5% ended up looking like the solar system, with an orderly architecture.
Since both contain inaccurate information, none of these percentages should accurately reflect reality. However, they do reveal trends that may be valid. For example, the fact that most systems tend to have planets of similar mass, something that has already been noted.
In this context, the solar system could be a rare thing, although others like it appear more frequently in observations perhaps due to bias: it is one type that is much easier to detect than the other.
This column appears on Mondays hard copyin Folha Corrida.
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