Astronomers have discovered the youngest hot Jupiter ever found located about 490 light-years from Earth. With this discovery, they hope to find more young hot Jupiters, so that they can understand more about the formation of planets beyond our Solar System.
A new study published in the Astronomical Journal reports the detection of the exoplanet HIP 67522 b, the youngest hot Jupiter ever found.
HIP 67522 b, which appears to be the youngest hot Jupiter ever found – less than 17 million years old – is about 490 light-years away. It orbits a star with a mass similar to our Sun’s in only ~7 Earth days. https://t.co/b58gXI9tlo pic.twitter.com/zlspHsbToo
— NASA Exoplanets (@NASAExoplanets) June 22, 2020
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According to NASA, the gas giant exoplanet, HIP 67522 b is about 10 times the diameter of Earth, close to the size of the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. HIP 67522 b orbits a previously studied Sun-sized star about 17 million years old, making the planet only millions of years old, unlike other hot Jupiters found that are billions of years.
Initially, HIP 67522 b was identified as an exoplanet candidate by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) with the help of the transit method. In this method, scientists make use of the small dip in the brightness of a star to find potential exoplanet as it could be a planet that passed in front of the star or a starspot.
HIP 67522 b was then confirmed to be a planet with the help of data from the Spitzer Space Telescope which retired this January.
The lead author of the study, Aaron Rizzuto from the University of Texas at Austin explains that while it is possible to learn about the formation of our Solar System, “we will never know how unique or how common our solar system is unless we’re out there looking for exoplanets. Exoplanet scientists are finding out how our solar system fits in the bigger picture of planet formation in the universe.”
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