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NASA launched a device with which you can weigh our entire galaxy



Last week, a new astronomical instrument called “NEID” was set up for work at Kitt Peak Observatory, in southern Arizona (USA). These are special scales for measuring the mass of distant space objects - primarily stars and exoplanets. In the future, with its help it will be possible to weigh our entire galaxy remotely.

NEID does not measure mass in direct terms, but calculates the magnitude of the gravitational effect of exoplanets on its stars, from which it is possible to calculate the mass of the planet. Everything in space affects each other through gravity, the only question is the strength of this effect. For example, a small but rather heavy Earth forces the Sun to oscillate at a speed of 0.3 km / h along its rotation axis. The influence of the large and heavy Jupiter is much more noticeable - because of it, our Sun oscillates at a speed of 46 km / h, which can be seen and measured from the outside.

NEID is the most advanced and sensitive of these tools, it is at least three times more accurate than its predecessors. This means that he will be able to measure the vibrations of even very distant exoplanets and stars, but he needs special conditions to work. For example, calibrating and maintaining the temperature with an accuracy of one thousandth of a degree - only in this case can we filter out real data on fluctuations from the parasitic effects of the plasma of distant stars themselves, which complicates observations.

The first target for NEID was the star 51 Pegasus, near which is located the very first of the found exoplanets - Dimidius.

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