Every year, astronomers discover many new exoplanets. Some of these distant worlds are covered in ice, while others are in the habitable zone. It is possible that some of the Earth-like planets have lives. However, there are other "hellish" worlds – on such exoplanets the temperature can reach the highest possible level. Recently, researchers discovered a planet that should not exist at a distance of 1060 light years from Earth – the gas giant NGTS-10b. This is the "hot Jupiter" that turns so close to the star that it makes a complete revolution around it in 18.4 hours. Not surprisingly, this exoplanet is of great interest to scientists. The researchers shared their findings in an article published in the Royal Astronomical Society's Monthly Notices.
Why are hot Jupiters interested in scientists?
Hot Jupiters are amazing exoplanets. The same gas giants as the worlds in our solar system, these objects move very close to their suns. The rotation time of hot Jupiter around the host stars is usually less than 10 days. According to modern models of planet formation, such Jupiter should not exist. The fact is that the gas giant cannot form as close to its star because gravity, radiation, and intense stellar wind must prevent the gas from sticking together. Even so, out of the more than 4,000 confirmed exoplanets discovered to date, up to 337 can be hot Jupiters.
Researchers believe that these gas giants form in their planetary systems and then move closer to the star. Today we may not know much about how they are born, but hot Jupiter, who are particularly close to their stars, can tell a lot about the interplay of stars and planets. Therefore, these objects are among the least studied exoplanets in the galaxy. In the past, only six hot gas giants with less than a day's orbit were discovered.
Between September 21, 2015 and May 14, 2016, the researchers observed the NGTS-10 star for 237 nights. A detailed examination of the images then showed that the star fades slightly every 18.4 hours. The problem was that the light from neighboring stars made it difficult to calculate the exact distance to NGTS-10. Therefore, the distance of 1060 light years was calculated based on Gaia, the most accurate three-dimensional map of today's Milky Way. However, the error persists. If the distance is not determined correctly, this may indicate that some size and weight data are also incorrect. This problem can be solved by examining the following publication of Gaia data.
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Why is hot Jupiter doomed to fail?
Ongoing observations of the unusual solar system can reveal the decay of the orbit of the exoplanet. Researchers believe the orbit will decrease by 7 seconds in the next 10 years. If astronomers can get sufficiently accurate measurements of the system, they can see exactly how this happens.