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Astronomers detect possible radio emission from exoplanet

In this artistic rendering of the Tau Boötes b system, the lines representing the invisible magnetic field are shown protecting the hot Jupiter planet from solar wind. Credit: Jack Madden/Cornell University

By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, a Cornell University-led international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating from the constellation Boötes. The signal could be the first radio emission collected from a planet beyond our solar system.

The team, led by Cornell postdoctoral researcher Jake D. Turner, Philippe Zarka of the Observatoire de Paris—Paris Sciences et Lettres University and Jean-Mathias Griessmeier of the Université d'Orléans published their findings in the forthcoming research section of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, on Dec. 16.

"We present one of the first hints of detecting an exoplanet in the radio realm," Turner said. "The signal is from the Tau Boötes system, which contains a binary star and an exoplanet. We make the case for an emission by the planet itself. From the strength and polarization of the radio signal and the planet's magnetic field, it is compatible with theoretical predictions."

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