Have you ever heard of a class of exoplanets known as hot Jupiters? As the nomenclature suggests, these are gaseous worlds with dimensions similar to Jupiter’s, but that “live” very close to their stars. Because of this peculiarity, these stars have incredibly high temperatures, as well as very short orbital periods, often lasting less than 1 Earth day.

Astronomers have already identified several of these exoplanets by the Cosmos. Although these bodies have been studied for some time, there are still many things that are not known about them, including how they formed and how they ended up so close to their suns. The discovery of a new hot Jupiter may help scientists to unravel these and other mysteries.

Exotic young man

Named HIP 67522 b, the exoplanet is about ten times the diameter of the Earth and, as the observations pointed out, consists of a gaseous body. Furthermore, it was detected very close to a well-studied star, located 490 light years from Earth and which, according to estimates, is a cosmic “baby” only 17 million years old – and this is where things get interesting. .

If the new hot Jupiter orbits such a recent star, it means that it must have formed several million years after it, which makes it the youngest planet in its class ever identified. In fact, this question of the age of the planetary system is what can help astronomers to better understand how these worlds are born.

According to the models proposed at the time, there are three possibilities to explain the positioning of the hot Jupiters. One would be that these exoplanets form close to their stars and take up residence there, which would be quite complicated, since the extreme conditions in these regions and the turbulent behavior of such youthful suns would probably lead to the vaporization of the materials necessary for the formation of new ones. planets.

The second alternative would be that the gravitational interference from other worlds present in the system “pushes” the hot Jupiters towards their stars. And the third option would be that they originate in more distant orbits and gradually approach their suns over time.

The last possibility seems to be the one that best fits to describe the location of HIP 67522 b. Scientists will need to make more observations and deepen their studies to decipher the mechanisms that trigger the migration of hot Jupiters from their original orbits to, practically, the lap of their stars.


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