The newly deployed CHEOPS space telescope has completed its first observations on exoplanet, revealing some fascinating new details about the ultra-hot Jupiter known as WASP-189b.
Hot Jupiters are similar to Jupiter’s exoplanets, located next to their host stars, hence their name. Ultra-hot Jupiters are the same thing, but, as you are you guessed it, they’re even hotter. As early as 2018, astronomers used the terrestrial WASP-Soutgoing telescope in South Africa discovered ultra-hot Jupiter, called WASP-189b, ulike everything seen before.
Two years later, using the brand–crack-new space telescope “Characteristic Satellite Exoplanet” (CHEOPS), astronomers have looked at this celestial wonder with new eyes, refining what we know about this unusual exoplanet, while confirming the huge potential of this European space telescope, which is just beginning to make research observations in April.
In fact, CHEOPS, compared to ground-based telescopes, is “just much more accurate,” explained Monica Lendall, an astronomer at the University of Geneva and lead author of the new study. “Since CHEOPS observes from space, it is not necessary to look through the Earth’s atmosphere, and so the light is not disturbed by air turbulence. “
CHEOPS, a collaboration between the European Space Agency and the Swiss Space Bureau, is only designed to detect and observe exoplanets, which it does by noticing decreases in the brightness of the star – a potential sign of an exoplanet passing in front (ie the transit method of detection). CHEOPS will also study pre-discovered exoplanets, as is the case here with WASP-189b.
“Cheops has a unique ‘follow-up’ role in the study of such exoplanets,” said Kate Isaac, a scientist at the ESA’s CHEOPS project and co-author of the new study, in a press release. “It will look for transits of planets that have been discovered from Earth and, where possible, more accurately measure the dimensions of planets already known to pass through their receiving stars.”
New paper describes the first official investigation of the space telescope was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.
WASP-189b is located 322 lightyears in the constellation Libra in the southern hemisphere. This superheated Jupiter is in a narrow orbit around a type A star HD 133112, which glows blue. The exoplanet, just 7.7 million kilometers from its host star, needs only 2.7 days to make a full orbit. Given this cozy arrangement – about 5% of the distance Earth to Sun – WASP-189b is very hot, with new CHEOPS data refining previous estimates.
The temperature of WASP-189b is actually difficult to determine, because this gas giant is quite bright, causing conflicting data between himself and his host star. To circumvent this, Lendl and her colleagues waited for occultations in which the planets passed behind the receiving stars from our point of view (something like the opposite of the transit method). This allowed scientists to correctly distinguish the brightness of the exoplanet, which in turn allowed them to measure its temperature.
“WASP-189b is one of the hottest gas giants known to exist,” Lendall said. “With CHEOPS we were able to determine the brightness of the planetary day and found that the light emitted by it corresponds to a planet with a temperature of about 3200 degrees Celsius [5,800 degrees Fahrenheit]. “
This is intense; our Sun is only 2,000 degrees C (3,630 degrees F) hotter than this burning exoplanet. And in fact, WASP-189b is actually hotter than some red dwarf stars, which cook at temperatures well below 3000 degrees C (5430 degrees F). The chances of any life on this planet are there in fact zero, because even iron turns into gas at these extremes.
Few planets are known to be so hot. WASP-189b is also the brightest hot Jupiter known to scientists.
Researchers perfected the mass of the exoplanet, finding that it was almost exactly twice as heavy as Jupiter. They also updated the diameter of the WASP-189b, finding that it is 1.6 The width of Jupiteror 139, 000 miles (224, 000 km), which is slightly larger than previous calculations.
Scientists have also noticed that the star, HD 133112, it’s not perfectly round – it’s actually kind of crushed, protruding at the equator, where it is significantly cooler than the polar regions. The star is fast rotationeng and the resulting centrifugal tidal forces contribute to it strange shape, the authors note in the study.
Interestingly, WASP-189b is in an inclined orbit, which means that it is not in line with the equatorial plane of the star. In fact, it is really incorrectly aligned, scaling over the polar regions of the star. This is an important observation, as it means that the exoplanet probably formed a faRther out and then slowly migrated inward over time. This trip to the leading star happened or due to the gravitational influence of other planets in the same system or the influence of another star, the researchers suggest.
With its full observation of WASP-189b, CHEOPS will now turn its attention to hundreds of other known exoplanets and their host stars, which will do so to further limit their mass, size and orbits. As is clear from this introductory investigation, we can expect much more from this exciting new space telescope.