(ORDO NEWS) — The completely naked core of the gas giant was discovered by astronomers at the University of Warwick in the orbit of a distant star. The discovery allows for the first time in detail to understand what exactly is inside the planet.
According to preliminary data, the size of the nucleus reaches the same size as the size of Neptune in our solar system. In fact, the object is a gas giant, which either lost the gas atmosphere, or could not form it in the early years of its existence.
A team from the physics department of the University of Warwick reported this discovery today in the journal Nature. Astronomers first discovered the open core of the planet, which offers a unique opportunity to look inside the planet and learn about its composition.
Located around a star very similar to ours, at a distance of about 730 light years, the core, called TOI 849 b, rotates so close to its star that the year is only 18 hours, and the surface temperature is about 1800K.
TOI 849 b was detected by viewing the stars using the NASA Transiting Exoplanet (TESS) using the transit method: observing stars for a drop in brightness, indicating that the planet passed in front of them. It was located in the so-called “Neptune desert” – a term used by astronomers for an area close to the stars, where we rarely see planets of Neptune mass or more.
The facility was then analyzed using the HARPS tool as part of a program led by the University of Warwick at the La Silla Observatory of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. To measure the mass of exoplanets by measuring their “oscillations”, the Doppler effect was used – insignificant movements to and from us, which are recorded as tiny shifts in the light spectrum of a star.
The team determined that the mass of the object is 2-3 times higher than that of Neptune, while it is so dense that the material that makes up this mass is put into an object of equal size.
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