Saturday June 25, 2016
Hot, young planet snuggles up to a star
A Hot Jupiter is an exoplanet with a mass similar to our own Jupiter, but with a much shorter orbit. This is because they are much closer to their host star. The first one was discovered in 1995.
But recently, an international team of scientists - including Dr. René Doyon, a Professor in the Department of Physics, and Director of the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montreal - discovered a new one which is quite different.
This planet - 430 light years from Earth - has an orbit of only 5 days and is about 1/20th the distance to its star than Earth is to the Sun - much closer than other Hot Jupiters. Also, the discovery reveals that a planet can form much quicker after the birth of the host star than previously thought. Both are only about 2 million years old. It is hoped that this new discovery will lead to a better understanding of how planetary systems - including our own - form and evolve.