The magnetic field is the region that prevents a planet’s atmosphere from being damaged by powerful stellar winds. For example, Mars once had an atmosphere. It was a hot planet. But after losing its magnetic field, its atmosphere slowly dissipated. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in our solar system still have magnetic fields. Even before, astronomers have found evidence of exoplanets that have their own magnetic fields.
However, we have not previously detected magnetic fields on small, rocky planets outside our solar system. However, some clues can be obtained from the constant radio signals coming from this exoplanet. The team believes this signal means the planet’s magnetic field is interacting with the star YZ Ceti, which the planet orbits.
But, even if YZ Ceti b has a magnetic field, life is unlikely to exist there. In fact, exoplanet YZ is so close to Ceti, that its orbit is only two days. Mercury, the closest planet to our Sun, takes 88 days to orbit the Sun. But, this planet takes only 2 days to revolve around its sun.
This signal was received by Carl G in New Mexico. The signal was picked up by the Jansky Very Large Array and identified by Jacqui Viladsen, an astronomer at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, looking at the data. Willadson says we saw the initial explosion and it looked beautiful. Looking at it again, it seemed to be giving hints.
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On why the signals are coming, Willadson says there are powerful radio waves being generated. Because the planet’s magnetic field is overwhelming the plasma escaping from its star. For this reason YZ Ceti b has a magnetic field despite its small orbit. It interacts with its star so much that its radio waves are picked up even from Earth.
Based on the strength of the radio waves, the researchers were able to show the magnetic field. But they say that if confirmed, it would be the first rocky, Earth-sized exoplanet to send the signal.