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Scientists use one-pixel images of the Earth to better understand exoplanets



  NASA, Exoplanets,

NASA

Scientists have studied the exoplanets to learn more about the evolution of the Earth and whether extraterrestrial beings exist or not. However, exoplanets, the planets that are out of our solar system, are extremely far away from us and it is quite difficult to get an idea of ​​what is going on there. Now, NASA has developed a new study that uses our home planet as a proxy for an exoplanet. It turns out that even with very little light (one pixel) the significant properties of the distant worlds can still be detected.

This new study uses data from NASA's Earth polychromatic imaging camera. This instrument, EPIC, is located aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Deco Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). It moves around the Sun at Lagrange Point 1

, a special orbit that allows EPIC to continuously view the sunlit surface of the Earth. EPIC has been in operation since 2015. It has made detailed maps of the surface of our home planet in several wavelengths and has also contributed much to climate and weather studies.

Since EPIC captures the image of the Earth's reflected lights in 10 different wavelengths or colors; Each time the instrument takes a picture of the earth, it actually takes 10 pictures. NASA's new study averages each of the images into a single brightness value that corresponds to a "one-pixel" image for each wavelength. This single one-pixel image of the earth is able to provide very few facts about its surface. However, the authors of the paper actually examined and examined a dataset containing one-pixel images that were clicked several times a day in 10 wavelengths over an extended period of time.

  EPIC

The EPIC instrument observes the entire Sun Face of the Earth from sunrise to sunset in 10 narrowband channels, from the ultraviolet to the near infrared These measurements can be used to determine ozone, aerosols, cloud heights, dust, volcanic ash [19659008] NASA / DSCOVR

The researchers were actually using these one-pixel images, we can determine some facts about the planet, such as water clouds in the atmosphere and their rotational speed.

"The advantage of using Earth as a proxy for an exoplanet is that we can derive our conclusions from the single-pixel data with the wealth of data we actually have for the Earth – we can not do that, if we use data from a distant, actual exoplanet, "said Jonathan Jiang, the lead author of the study, which was published in Astrophysical Journal. Jian is also an atmosphere and climate scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Currently, Jiang uses the climate data to further advance the development of exoplanets. Now these exoplanets are much darker than the stars and they are also much harder to spot. For example, the Earth is about 10 billion times weaker than the Sun. While scientists have so far discovered over 3,700 exoplanets; only 45 of them were detected by direct imaging.

The new NASA study shows that if we can observe an exoplanet with discrete features for a long time; It would be possible to determine the rotational velocity of the planet by monitoring a repeating pattern in the reflected light. "People have been talking for some time about measuring the rotation rate of exoplanets with this approach, but there was no evidence that it could work because we had no real data 24 "It seems that this approach to measuring planetary rotation is robust," said exoplanet scientist Renyu Hu of NASS JPL and co-author of the study.

This new study should help scientists understand more about the exoplanets and who you know, soon you will also find some extraterrestrial neighbors!


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