Astronomers have identified and characterised two new exoplanets, including a massive ‘extra solar Jupiter’, thanks to observations from NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
These planets, named KOI-200b and KOI-889b, have about the size of Jupiter but eccentric orbits with periods of less than 10 days.
The new results help to further understand the evolution of orbits of these planets located very close to their star, known as “hot Jupiters”.
There are currently more than 850 known exoplanets, but as seen from the Earth, only some of them are oriented in a way that they are passing in front of their star every orbital period, astrobiology.com website reported.
These periodic transits of the planet in front of its star produce a small dip in its brightness. These micro eclipses allow astronomers to know the diameter of the planet and some details about its atmosphere.
KOI-200b is slightly bigger than Jupiter and slightly less massive. With a low density, this gaseous planet is orbiting around its star in less than one week.
The planet KOI-889b is of the size of Jupiter but is ten times more massive. This very-massive planet is orbiting around its star in slightly less than 9 days.
These two planets detected by Kepler space telescope plus the SOPHIE and HARPS-N spectrographs have eccentric orbits: during their orbit, their distance to their star is varying.
KOI-889b, which is among the most massive planets discovered so far, is also among the most eccentric transiting planets. It could have been formed by a different mechanism than less massive planets.