Scientists Discover Five New Exoplanets Of “Hot Jupiters”

Posted: Feb 17 2016, 12:13pm CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Space telescopes
Photo credit: NASA

A study titled “Five transiting hot Jupiters discovered using WASP-South, Euler and TRAPPIST” and published in the journal arXiv states that astronomers came across five new exoplanets that came to be known as “hot Jupiters” in their bid to discover more extrasolar worlds.

Pierre Maxted of Keele University in Staffordshire in the UK led the research team and used the Wide Angle Search for Planets-South (WASP-South) instrument, which happens to be an array of eight cameras focused at selected portions of the southern sky.

The telescope is placed at the site of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) located outside of Sutherland, and it has proved very useful in watching the five new planet-like stars. And to verify the planetary value of the five exoplanets, the astronomers deployed photometry from EulerCam instrument on the Swiss Euler 1.2-m telescope and the TRAPPIST telescope, as well as spectroscopy obtained with the CORALIE spectrograph—all installed at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

The new planets are named: WASP-119 b, WASP-124 b, WASP-126 b, WASP-129 b and WASP-133 b, and their masses range from 0.3 to 1.2 the mass of the Jupiter, with radii between one to 1.5 Jupiter radius, and their orbital periods vary from 2.17 to 5.75 days.

"WASP-126b is the most interesting because it orbits the brightest star of the five. This means it can be a target for atmospheric characterization, deducing the composition and nature of the atmosphere from detailed study, for example with the Hubble Space Telescope or the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope," said Coel Hellier, one of the co-authors of the study.

Hellier added that his team has a large program that combines data from WASP-South survey search with those of the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph in addition to time on the TRAPPIST robotic photometer. He said a coordinated program such as the one his team had carried out is required to discover transiting exoplanets with over 100 already found, inclusive of the recently discovered five.

The astronomers note that NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite would be beneficial to watching for newer planets when it launches.

"TESS might find smaller transiting exoplanets in these systems, as the Kepler K2 mission did with our previous discovery WASP-47. TESS, however, will do this for nearly all WASP planets, whereas K2 is restricted to an ecliptic strip, and so can only look at a few WASP planets," Hellier provided.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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