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Newly Discovered Exoplanet With Extreme Seasons Called A 'Real Maverick'

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Jabba the Hut
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« on: February 22, 2015, 09:22:35 pm »

Newly Discovered Exoplanet With Extreme Seasons Called A 'Real Maverick'
  |  By Macrina Cooper-White

Posted: 02/15/2015 10:05 am EST Updated: 02/15/2015 8:59 pm EST
KEPLER SPACE TELESCOPE



Two groups of astronomers working independently in Germany have discovered a massive new exoplanet that's quite strange--for a few reasons.

The newfound exoplanet, dubbed Kepler-432b, was monitored by NASA's Kepler space telescope from 2009 to 2013 and identified as a planetary candidate in 2011. Using the 2.2-meter telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in Andalucía, Spain and the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma in the Canary Islands, the researchers are now confirming that, indeed, it's a planet.
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Jabba the Hut
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2015, 09:23:18 pm »




lllustration of the orbit of Kepler-432b (inner, red) in comparison to the orbit of Mercury around the Sun (outer, orange). The red dot in the middle indicates the position of the star around which the planet is orbiting. The size of the star is shown to scale, while the size of the planet has been magnified ten times for illustration.
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Jabba the Hut
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2015, 09:23:41 pm »

Analyzing the data from both telescopes, the researchers discovered Kepler-432b is incredibly dense; though it's around the same size as Jupiter, its mass is six times that of the gas giant. Its orbit around its host star, a red giant with a radius that's four times that of our Sun, is also unusual.

“The majority of known planets moving around giant stars have large and circular orbits," Dr. Davide Gandolfi, an astronomer at Heidelberg University's Center for Astronomy in Germany and a researcher involved in the discovery, said in a written statement. "With its small and highly elongated orbit, Kepler-432b is a real ‘maverick’ among planets of this type."

Due to the orbit's elongated shape, Kepler-432b's seasons are extreme, with temperatures ranging from 932 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit in summer. A year on the planet corresponds to roughly 52 Earth days, according to the researchers.

And the planet is only one of five observed orbiting a red giant host star at such a close distance. Red giants are stars in their last stage of life. They can grow to become anywhere from 10 to 100 times their original size, and as they grow, any planets nearby are at risk of being devoured.

So though Kepler-432b has been able to survive near its star so far, it likely won't be around for much longer.

“The days of Kepler-432b are numbered,” Mauricio Ortiz, a PhD student at Heidelberg University who led one of the two studies of the planet, said in the statement. “In less than 200 million years, Kepler-432b will be swallowed by its continually expanding host star.”

Two papers describing the discovery have been published in the January 2015 issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.
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Jabba the Hut
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 09:24:25 pm »

http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/2015/01/aa25146-14/aa25146-14.html
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Jabba the Hut
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 09:25:32 pm »



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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 09:26:02 pm »

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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2015, 09:26:43 pm »



Extrasolar Planet HD 209458 b, Osiris
Artist's conception released by NASA of extrasolar planet HD 209458 b, also known as Osiris, orbiting its star in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light years from Earth's solar system. Scientists have used an infrared spectrum -- the first ever obtained for an extrasolar planet -- to analyze Osiris' atmosphere, which is said to contain dust but no water. The planet's surface temperature is more than 700 Celsius (1330 Fahrenheit).
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Jabba the Hut
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2015, 09:27:30 pm »




Planet & Its Parent Star
Picture released 04 October 2006 by the European Space Agency shows an artist's impression of a Jupiter-sized planet passing in front of its parent star. Such events are called transits. When the planet transits the star, the star's apparent brightness drops by a few percent for a short period. Through this technique, astronomers can use the Hubble Space Telescope to search for planets across the galaxy by measuring periodic changes in a star's luminosity. The first class of exoplanets found by this technique are the so-called 'hot Jupiters,' which are so close to their stars they complete an orbit within days, or even hours. A seam of stars at the centre of the Milky Way has shown astronomers that an entirely new class of planets closely orbiting distant suns is waiting to be explored, according to a paper published 04 October 2006. An international team of astronomers, using a camera aboard NASA's Hubble telescope, delved into a zone of the Milky Way known as the 'galactic bulge', thus called because it is rich in stars and in the gas and dust which go to make up stars and planets. The finding opens up a new area of investigation for space scientists probing extrasolar planets - planets that orbit stars other than our own. AFP PHOTO NASA/ESA/K. SAHU (STScI) AND THE SWEEPS SCIENCE TEAM
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 09:28:14 pm »





Hot Jupiter
Picture released 04 October 2006 by the European Space Agency shows an artist's impression of a unique type of exoplanet discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope. This image presents a purely speculative view of what such a 'hot Jupiter' (word dedicated to planets so close to their stars with such short orbital periods) might look like. A seam of stars at the centre of the Milky Way has shown astronomers that an entirely new class of planets closely orbiting distant suns is waiting to be explored, according to a paper published 04 October 2006. An international team of astronomers, using a camera aboard NASA's Hubble telescope, delved into a zone of the Milky Way known as the 'galactic bulge', thus called because it is rich in stars and in the gas and dust which go to make up stars and planets. The finding opens up a new area of investigation for space scientists probing extrasolar planets - planets that orbit stars other than our own. AFP PHOTO NASA/ESA/K. SAHU (STScI) AND THE SWEEPS SCIENCE TEAM
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