They detect a 'hot Jupiter' that escapes from theories of planetary formation


Every week, telescopes around the world detect new exoplanets - which orbit around stars other than the Sun - but the last one found by the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (WTS-UKIRT) located in Hawaii is out of the ordinary. "It is a special planet because it has a very large radius, given its mass and age, and according to the current theories of planetary formation," explains Luis Sarro Baro, researcher at the Artificial Intelligence department of the UNED and one of the authors of the finding, which is described in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

These theories predict that the radii of newly formed planets decrease with the passage of time as they radiate their internal energy. However, considering that the discovered exoplanet - named WTS-1b - and its progenitor star were formed 600 million years ago, the body should be 20% larger than Jupiter and not 50%, as observe.

To locate WTS-1b, the international team of scientists, of which UNED is part, the Center for Astrobiology, the Astrophysical Institute of the Canary Islands, the German Hispano Astronomical Center, the University of La Laguna , and numerous European and Latin American institutions, has used infrared photometry techniques. These reveal that the exoplanet is a gaseous body, known as 'hot Jupiter', because it shares the characteristics of the gas giant but orbits around its star (WTS-1) at a much smaller distance than it does from the Sun.



Fuente: Divulga-UNED

Fecha: 2013-01-17


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