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Beyond Earthly Skies

A Trio of Inflated Hot Jupiters

23 Oct 2013, 09:30 UTC
A Trio of Inflated Hot Jupiters
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Figure 1: Artist’s impression of a hot Jupiter.As part of the SuperWASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) program, an international team of researches have reported the discovery of three highly irradiated and bloated hot Jupiters. Like Jupiter, these planets are gas giants and are comprised almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. However, unlike Jupiter, all three planets circle in very tight orbits around stars that are hotter and larger than the Sun - F5 to F7-type stars with effective surface temperatures of 6,250 K to 6,500 K. In comparison, the Sun is a cooler G2-type star with an effective surface temperature of 5,780 K. The three planets, identified as WASP-76 b, WASP-82 b and WASP-90 b, take just 1.81, 2.71 and 3.92 days respectively to circle their parent stars.All three planets are bloated, with diameters of 1.6 to 1.8 times the diameter of Jupiter, and their intensely irradiated day-sides are scorched to temperatures of ~2,000 K. WASP-76 b, WASP-82 b and WASP-90 b belong to a class of inflated hot Jupiters. Planets of this nature tend to orbit in very close proximity to stars that are somewhat hotter than the Sun. In fact, planets with as much as ~2 times ...

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