Thanks to the new powerful terrestrial and space telescopes, extrasolar planets have become a great object of scientific research in recent years.
The worldwide relevance of exoplanets is such that the Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the Swiss Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz the day before yesterday, which showed that the Sun is not the only star with a planetary system.
It was a recognition expected for years by the scientific community. James Peebles was also awarded, whose theoretical research on cosmic background radiation changed our view of the Universe.
In October 1995, Mayor and Queloz reported the existence of 51 Pegasi, the first planet discovered outside the solar system. “They have explored our galaxy looking for unknown worlds,” said the Swedish Academy.
Also, they noted that this milestone marked a revolution in astronomy: since then, 4000 exoplanets have been identified in the Milky Way.
In a new scientific research published this week, a team of English astronomers first identified a very extreme extra-solar planet, which revolves around its star in just 18.4 hours. Earth does it in 365 years.
These “alien” worlds are known among scientists as “hot Jupiter” or giant gas planets that orbit their stars closer than Mercury does in our Sun. The researchers claimed that the orbit of this exoplanet called NGTS-10b is probably deteriorating enough that it can be measured more accurately over the next decade.
“A hot Jupiter is a large planet, similar to Jupiter, which orbits its star on timescales of less than 10 days,” said lead study author James McCormac, an astronomer at the University of Warwick in England.
“By comparison, Jupiter orbits the sun with a period of approximately 12 years,” he added.
The short distances between these “hot Jupiter ultra-short period” and their stars make such worlds ideal targets for astronomers to investigate the nature of gravitational interactions between planets and stars, as well as the tidal forces between Earth and Earth. Moon.
“The hot Jupiter ultra-short period, are those that orbit a star in less than a day, are quite rare,” said McCormac.
The scientists analyzed this exoplanet, called NGTS-10b, using the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), with a robotic matrix of 12 telescopes at the Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
This exoplanet orbits NGTS-10, an orange dwarf star approximately 70% equal to the Sun in mass and diameter.
The precise distance between the Earth and the NGTS-10 is not yet known, but researchers believe it is approximately 980 to 1140 light years.
They also indicated that it is a little more than 2.1 times the mass of Jupiter and approximately 1.2 times the diameter of Jupiter.
This new world orbits its star at a distance of approximately 1.4 of an astronomical unit (AU), the average distance between Earth and the Sun (which is approximately 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers).
In comparison, Mercury orbits around the sun at a distance of approximately 38.7 from a UA.
There are other worlds that orbit their stars closer than NGTS-10b does, “but they are much smaller planets,” McCormac said.
The current record holder is K2-137b, an exoplanet about 90% of Earth’s diameter, which takes only 4.3 hours to completely orbit its red dwarf star, he said.
Although NGTS-10b is very close to NGTS-10, the star is not particularly warm, with an area of approximately 1.3 degrees Celsius colder than the surface of the sun. As such, other hot Jupiter can get hotter than NGTS-10b.
The NGTS-10b circulates dangerously close to its star, close enough that researchers expect them to detect their decay from orbit over time and crash into it within about 38 million years.
“It will be very exciting if we are able to directly measure the orbital decay of the planet,” McCormac concluded.
The Swedish Academy of Sciences showed its expectation for new revelations around the exoplanets, when on Tuesday it stated in a statement:
“Strange new worlds are being discovered with an incredible wealth of sizes, shapes and orbits. They challenge our preconceived ideas about planetary systems and force scientists to revise their theories.”