Researchers from different countries have discovered an exoplanet similar to Jupiter but hotter than the sun – about 2000 degrees – a discovery that, according to the scientific community, can help understand the evolution of planets and stars in extreme conditions.
The work, whose conclusions appear today in the journal Nature Astronomy, was coordinated by the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) and several research centers and universities from several countries, including the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. .
Using spectral data collected by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (in Chile), the researchers confirmed the discovery of a binary system consisting of two celestial bodies, located about 1,400 light-years apart, and together present an excellent opportunity to advance the understanding of the evolution of planets and stars.
This binary system is the most extreme of its kind known so far in terms of temperature, because according to the researchers it will be about 2,000 degrees hotter than the surface of the Sun.
Researcher Nima Halakun, from the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, notes that unlike other exoplanets similar to Jupiter, this body can be observed and studied because it is very large compared to a star. orbits, which are about 10,000 times dimmer than an ordinary star.
The binary system discovered by the researchers consists of two celestial bodies called “dwarfs”, but they have completely different natures.
One of them is a “white dwarf”, the remnant of a sun-like star after its nuclear fuel has been exhausted; The other part of the pair, which is neither a planet nor a star, is a “brown dwarf,” a member of a class of objects that has a mass between that of a gas giant like Jupiter and that of a small star.
“Brown dwarfs” are sometimes called “fail stars” because they do not have enough mass to fuel hydrogen fusion reactions, but unlike gas giant planets, brown dwarfs have enough mass to survive the “pulling” of their companions. Stars, Weizmann Institute of Science Reporting.
Objects such as this Jupiter-like exoplanet, Halakon noted, are, according to the researchers, the antithesis of habitable planets, because they are “wildly uninhabitable” places.
Future high-resolution spectroscopic observations of this hot Jupiter-like system—expected to be made with NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope—could reveal how hot, irradiated conditions affect the structure of the atmosphere, potentially helping the scientific community understand exoplanets in other parts of the universe.
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