Researchers Discover Rare "Hot Jupiter" Exoplanet


| LAST UPDATE 11/22/2021

By Sharon Renee
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Jupiter has been known as the largest planet in our solar system for decades now. But according to new findings, we may have been wrong. Astronomers recently discovered a massive exoplanet hiding just outside of our galaxy. From its record-breaking characteristics to the research it called for, here's what we know about the intergalactic discovery.

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It all started when researchers at India's Physical Research Laboratory set off to learn more about our solar system. Little did they know the surprise that awaited them. After deploying PARAS (PRL Advanced Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search), the first spectrograph of its kind in India, the team observed over 200 systems throughout 3 different galaxies. That's when they made their startling discovery...

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Named TOI 1789, the exoplanet they soon uncovered was like nothing the scientific community has ever seen before. Boasting a size roughly 1.4 times that of Jupiter, the extremely hot mass officially surpasses the largest planet in our solar system. Situated roughly 725 light years away, it is also remarkably close to the star it orbits. In fact, while Earth takes 365 days to make a full orbit, TOI 1789 takes approximately 3.2. But that's not where the rarities ended.

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Also known as a "hot Jupiter," the unique mass is only one of 10 such exoplanets known to experts around the world. As for what defines a hot Jupiter? Such gas giants boast orbit periods less than 10 days and feature high surface-atmosphere temperatures due to their proximity to their stars. But while their characteristics are, no doubt, unique, they also serve as a key to some of the universe's unanswered questions...

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"The detection of such a system enhances our understanding of various mechanisms responsible for inflation in 'hot-Jupiters' and the formation and evolution of planetary systems around evolving and aging stars," the Indian space agency explained. As the team explained in their Monthly Notices journal, they believe the exoplanet will help them further understand how our planets evolve.

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Clearly, there's still lots to be learned here. And with roughly 96% of the universe yet to be uncovered - as estimated - who knows what other mysteries await us? Stay tuned.