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In the past decade, thousands of planets have been discovered beyond our solar system. These planets have provided astronomers with the opportunity to study planetary systems that defy our preconcieved notions. This includes particularly massive gas giants that are many times the size of Jupiter (aka "super-Jupiters"). And then there are those that orbit particularly close to their suns, otherwise known as "hot Jupiters."
Conventional wisdom indicates that gas giants should exist far from their suns and have long orbital periods that can last for a decade or longer. However, in a recent study, an international team of astronomers announced the detection of a "hot Jupiter" with the shortest orbital period to date. Located 1,060 light-years away from Earth, this planet (NGTS-10b) takes just 18 hours to complete a full orbit of its sun.
Team - States - Study - Notices - Royal
As the team states in their study, which recently appeared in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), the planet was discovered by the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS). Located at the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Paranal Observatory in Chile, this telescope is used by a consortium of European universities and agencies to hunt for extrasolar planets.
Specifically, the NGTS is concerned with finding Neptune and super-Earth sized exoplanets around bright stars. To date, the majority of large planets that have short orbital periods have been hot Jupiters, which are the easiest to spot using the transit method, especially with ground-based telescopes.
Dr - James - McCormac - Research - Fellow
Dr. James McCormac, a post-doctoral research fellow with the University of Warwick's Center for Exoplanets and Habitability and a member of the NGTS, was also the lead author on the study. As he explained to Universe Today via email:
"The Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a robotic exoplanet survey designed to discover Neptune-sized exoplanets. It consists of 12 identical 20cm telescopes and is located at the...
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