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An Intensely Irradiated Hot-Jupiter in a Polar Orbit

6 Jul 2015, 23:00 UTC
An Intensely Irradiated Hot-Jupiter in a Polar Orbit
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Delrez et al. (2015) present the discovery of WASP-121b, a hot-Jupiter in a short-period polar orbit around its host star. The orbit of WASP-121b causes it to transit its host star every 1.27 days. The host star of WASP-121b is an F-type main sequence star with 1.35 times the mass and 1.46 times the radius of the Sun. It shines with 3.3 times the Sun’s luminosity. Spectroscopic and photometric observations show that WASP-121b has 1.18 times the mass and 1.87 times the radius of Jupiter. This gives WASP-121b a mean density of only 1/5th the density of Jupiter.Figure 1: Artist’s impression of an exoplanet obscuring its host star. Image credit: Pauline Moss.The large radius of WASP-121b indicates that it is significantly inflated. WASP-121b orbits so close to its host star, it is just ~1.15 times the minimum distance from its host star where it will start to become tidally disrupted. Due to the proximity to its host star, WASP-121b receives an extreme amount of irradiation which heats the planet to an estimated temperature of roughly 2,360 K. WASP-121b joins a handful of intensely irradiated planets with super-inflated radii.By measuring a phenomenon known as the Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect, WASP-121b is found ...

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