It’s the same thing this time. Using the same telescope that discovered the first exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star, Scientists have discovered the surprising giant planet Jupiter. The discovery was made using the TESS (Exoplanet Survey Satellite) space telescope and a telescope with a diameter of about 2 meters located at the French OHP Observatory (Observatoire de Haute-Provence). Through this second telescope, planet 51 Pegasi b was discovered, which is the first planet outside the solar system orbiting a sun-like star.
As part of the entire research project, scientists discovered two planetary systems centered around Sun-like stars. These are systems orbiting the stars TOI-1736 and TOI-2141. Both systems contain minor Neptunes. In one of them – as if in addition – there is also a surprising super-Jupiter. For specialists, this is a unique opportunity to study the processes of planet formation around Sun-like stars.
The TOI-2141 planetary system is located about 250 light-years from Earth. Although the star is similar in size and mass to the Sun, it is much older. Scientists came to this conclusion based on spectroscopic studies. There are no elements heavier than hydrogen and helium visible in the star. Detailed analysis shows that the star is about 7.5 billion years old. For comparison, the Sun is only 4.6 billion years old.
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The first and so far only planet in this solar system was discovered using the transit method. The planet passed in front of its star’s disk, partially obscuring it and thus causing its brightness to decrease. By measuring the amount of blocked light, scientists determined that the planet’s diameter is three times Earth’s diameter and its mass is 24 times Earth’s mass. This means that we are dealing with something called com.minineptune. Detailed analysis of the transit allowed us to determine that the planet orbits its star at a distance of approximately 20 million kilometers, a distance seven times smaller than the distance from the Sun to Earth. Therefore, it takes only 18 days to orbit around the star, and the temperature on its surface reaches approximately 450 degrees Celsius. All of the above parameters allow us to assume that TOI-2141 b is a planet made of a massive rocky core and a puffy atmosphere filled with water vapor.
But even more interesting is the planetary system centered around the star TOI-1736, which is 290 light-years away. Here we are dealing with a star similar in mass, age (4.9 billion years) and even temperature to the Sun.
But what makes this planetary system unique is that the main star has a smaller stellar companion. So we are dealing with a binary system. This is quite an unusual system, because both stars are so far away from each other that the planets in this system orbit only the main star.
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Scientists have found two planets in the vicinity of TOI-1736. The first is a mini-Neptune with a diameter 2.5 times that of Earth. The mass of this planet is estimated at 13 Earth masses. Also in this case, we are dealing with a planet located very close to its star. The distance between the star and the planet is only 10.5 million kilometers. For this reason, the planet orbits the star in only 8 days, and its temperature is about 800 degrees Celsius.
What is this giant planet?
However, the second planet orbiting the star TOI-1736 is more interesting. Well, everything points to TOI-1736 c being a giant Jupiter, a giant planet 2,800 times more massive than Earth. Furthermore, the planet’s diameter is approximately one hundred times larger than the diameter of Earth and 9 times larger than the diameter of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.
The distance of this giant from the star is 200 million kilometers, or 30%. Greater than the distance from Earth to the Sun. Interestingly, this means that the planet is already in the habitable zone around its star. However, we will not search for life on this planet, because it is a gas planet. On the other hand, this planet could theoretically have Earth-sized rocky moons on which life could theoretically be possible. However, at the moment, we are unable to determine whether the planet has such moons.
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