Astronomers discover two 'warm Jupiter' exoplanets orbiting distant stars

phys.org | 8/28/2017 | Staff
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Transit light curve of EPIC 211418729b. Credit: Shporer et al., 2017.

Astronomers have detected two new so-called "warm Jupiter" exoplanets orbiting stars located more than 1,300 light years away from the Earth. The newly found alien worlds are similar in size to Jupiter but much hotter than our solar system's gas giant. The findings were presented Aug. 23 in a paper published on arXiv.org.

Exoworlds - EPIC - EPIC - Planet - Candidates

The new exoworlds, designated EPIC 211418729b and EPIC 211442297b, were initially identified as transiting planet candidates in mid-2015 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft prolonged mission known as K2. Now, a team of astronomers led by Avi Shporer of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) presents the results of follow-up observations, which confirmed that both K2 candidates are indeed transiting exoplanets.

Shporer's team conducted the observations between January 2016 and May 2017. They performed high angular resolution imaging of the parent stars EPIC 211418729 and EPIC 211442297 using the Keck II telescope of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Gemini North telescope, also in Hawaii. The researchers also obtained high resolution spectra and carried out radial velocity monitoring of the stars with the HIRES instrument on the Keck I telescope. Moreover, these observations were complemented by photometric data from three ground-based telescopes located in Arizona, Chile and South Africa.

Campaign - Nature - Transit - Signals - K2

The observational campaign resulted in confirming the planetary nature of transit signals acquired by K2 and allowed the scientists to derive fundamental parameters of the two systems.

"We have discovered two transiting warm Jupiter exoplanets initially identified as transiting candidates in K2 photometry," the team wrote in the paper. According to the study, both newly detected extrasolar worlds are...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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