Astronomers discover an ultrahot Jupiter in space

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Astronomers discover an ultrahot Jupiter in space (Image: Pixabay)
Astronomers discover an ultrahot Jupiter in space (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : Most of the exoplanets discovered till date are hot Jupiters and they are believed to orbit their stars in less than 10 days. Till date, more than 400 hot Jupiters have been discovered by the scientists.

In a latest, astronomers have discovered one of the most extreme ultrahot Jupiters designated TOI-2109b. The new exoplanet is five times in size as compared to our Jupiter and orbits its star in just 16 hours. The orbit of the planet around the star is the shortest of any known gas giant to date.

The planet’s dayside is estimated to be at around 3,500 Kelvin, or close to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit. With these figures, it has become the second hottest planet discovered so far.

Based on its properties, this ultrahot Jupiter is believed to be in the process of ‘orbital decay. Due to its short orbit, the planet is spiraling toward its star faster than other hot Jupiters.

Ian Wong, a lead author of the discovery, who was a postdoc at MIT during the study and has since moved to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, said, “In one or two years if we are lucky, we may be able to detect how the planet moves closer to its star. In our lifetime, we will not see the planet fall into its star. But give it another 10 million years, and this planet might not be there.”

The location of the newly discovered hot Jupiter is in the southern portion of the Hercules constellation, about 855 light-years from Earth. After a month of its discovery, the TESS spacecraft collected measurements of the star’s light. The light was then analyzed for transits. The data from TESS confirmed that the star indeed hosts an object that orbits about every 16 hours at a rate of 10 to 750 milliseconds per year.

The star is about 50 percent larger in size and mass compared to our Sun.