Astronomers discover bloated hot Jupiter

(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers has discovered a new exoplanet, NGTS-21b, which is a bloated hot Jupiter.

The planet, discovered by the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), is about 30% larger and twice as massive as Jupiter.

Hot Jupiters are similar in characteristics to the largest planet in the solar system, but have orbital periods of less than 10 days. Such exoplanets have high surface temperatures because they orbit close to their parent stars.

A team of astronomers led by Douglas R. Alves of the University of Chile announced the discovery of a new extrasolar planet.

By observing the metal-poor dwarf star NGTS-21, scientists found a strong transit signal. The planetary nature of this signal was confirmed by subsequent observations.

NGTS-21b has a radius of 1.33 Jupiter radii and a mass of about 2.36 Jupiter masses, giving a density of 1.25 g/cm3.

The planet revolves around its parent star approximately every 37 hours at a distance of about 3.5 million kilometers. The equilibrium temperature of NGTS-21b is estimated at about 1357 K.

Scientists stressed that the parameters of NGTS-21b indicate that it is a bloated massive hot Jupiter. Swollen planets have been known to astronomers for almost two decades, but it is still unclear what the cause of the bloat is.

In general, possible explanations could be attributed to two theories: the radiation of energy from the old parent star being absorbed by the interior of the planet, and internal heating due to tidal interactions.

The authors of the article also indicated the main properties of the parent star NGTS-21. This metal-poor K3V dwarf lies 2,090 light-years from Earth, according to the study.

NGTS-21 is about 10 billion years old. The star is 14% smaller and almost 30% less massive than the Sun. The effective temperature of NGTS-21 is 4660 K.

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