Giant ring system around exoplanet discovered

In summary, scientists have interpreted the data to suggest that the ring system around 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 is 200 times larger than Saturn's and thick enough to create a complex light curve during stellar transit. This transit occurred in 2007 and lasted almost two months, revealing a possible exomoon due to a gap in the ring system. However, it is uncertain if the object is bound, but if it is, it may have an orbital period of roughly 13 years, with another transit expected in 2020. The BBC article features a visual representation of what the sky would look like with this ring system, showcasing the intersection of science and science fiction. The star itself has a cumbersome
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At least that is the interpretation of the scientists - 200 times larger than the system around Saturn, and thick enough to make a complicated light curve during stellar transit.
The transit happened in 2007 and took nearly two months. A gap in the ring system hints at an exomoon. As they just observed one transit, it is not certain that the object is bound - if it is, they suggest an orbital period of roughly 13 years which would give another transit in 2020.

BBC news
paper at arXiv

The BBC article has a picture how the sky would look like if Saturn had such a ring system - science is the best science fiction. But they really need a better star name, 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 is a bit clumsy.
 
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mfb said:
But they really need a better star name, 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 is a bit clumsy.

How about Ol' Ringy?
 

What is a giant ring system?

A giant ring system is a collection of large, orbiting objects that encircle a planet. These objects can range from small asteroids to large moons and are held in place by the planet's gravitational pull.

How was the giant ring system around the exoplanet discovered?

The giant ring system was discovered using a combination of ground-based telescopes and space-based telescopes. Astronomers observed the exoplanet passing in front of its host star and noticed a dip in the star's brightness. Further analysis revealed the presence of a ring system around the exoplanet.

What is the significance of this discovery?

This discovery is significant because it provides evidence that ring systems around exoplanets are more common than previously thought. It also gives us a better understanding of how planets and their rings form and evolve over time.

How does this giant ring system compare to Saturn's ring system?

The giant ring system around the exoplanet is much larger and more massive than Saturn's ring system. It contains a larger number of orbiting objects and is spread out over a larger area. However, both systems are made up of similar materials, such as ice and rock particles.

Could the giant ring system support life?

It is unlikely that the giant ring system itself could support life, as it is composed of small, rocky and icy objects. However, if the exoplanet has any moons within the ring system, they may have the potential to support life depending on their composition and distance from the planet.

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