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A new field guide for hot Jupiters

28 Oct 2021, 12:00 UTC
A new field guide for hot Jupiters
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Artist’s concept of a hot Jupiter in a tight orbit around its star. Now scientists have released a new field guide for hot Jupiters. Image via ATG Medialab/ ESA/ Forbes.
Field guide for hot Jupiters
This month (October 21, 2021), astronomers announced a new tool for scientists, to help in the study of what are called hot Jupiters. They’re calling it a “field guide” for hot Jupiters. Of the 4,000+ exoplanets known so far – planets orbiting distant stars in our Milky Way galaxy – several hundred are hot Jupiters. The new guide for scientists combines observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and theoretical models. It’s nothing you or I could hold in our hands, as we would a field guide for birds or stars. But, for those scientists who use it, it offers insights into planet formation in general. And it’s noteworthy as an early study of exoplanet atmospheres, a subject on the frontier of exoplanet research. The new study is called A unique hot Jupiter spectral sequence with evidence for compositional diversity.
The peer-reviewed journal Nature published the study on October 21. Astronomer Megan Mansfield at the University of Arizona led the research team.
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