Strange and distorted planet with mysterious motion discovered by Khufu’s exploration outside the Solar System

Strange and distorted planet with mysterious motion discovered by Khufu's exploration outside the Solar System

The team was able to use the WASP-103b light transit curve to get a variable – a love number – that measures how mass is distributed across the planet. Understanding how mass is distributed will reveal more details about the planet’s internal structure.

“The resistance of an object to deformation depends on its structure,” explains Susan Burroughs, lead author of the study at the Institute of Astronomy and the University of Porto in Portugal. “It simply came to our notice then. The rocky part does not move much. By measuring the shape of a planet, we can determine how much rock it is. , Gas or water.

The love number WASP-103b is similar to the Jupiter number, which initially indicates that the internal structure is similar, although the radius of WASP-103b is twice as large.

“In principle, we expect a planet about 1.5 times the mass of Jupiter to be about the same size, so WASP-103b must be much larger due to the heat of its stars and other systems,” says Susanna.

“If we can confirm the details of its internal structure through further observations, we can better understand why it swells so much. It is important to know the size of the nucleus of this exoplanet and to better understand how it formed.

As the uncertainty of the number of romances is still great, further observations with the Khufu telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope (WEB) will be needed to understand the details. The very high resolution of the web will improve the deformation dimensions of exoplanets, allowing for better comparisons between the so-called “hot Jupiter” and the giant planets in the Solar System.

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Mysterious movement

Another secret revolves around WASP-103b. The tidal interaction between a star and a planet very close to the size of Jupiter usually shortens the planet’s orbital period, gradually bringing it closer to the star before the main star finally swallows it. However, WASP-103b measurements indicate that the orbital period will increase and the planet will slowly move away from the star. This may indicate that the tidal forces are not the main factor influencing the planets.

Susanna and her colleagues considered other possible circumstances, such as the influence of the host’s accompanying star on the dynamics of the system or the small ellipse of the planet’s orbit. They could not accept these circumstances, but could not dismiss them. The orbital period may actually decrease rather than increase, but only additional observations of the WASP-103b transit using Khuf and other telescopes will shed light on this mystery.

“The impact of tides and currents on the light curve of the exoplanet is very small, but we can see it for the first time because of the very high resolution of Khufu,” said Katie Isaac, a scientist with the European Space Agency on the Khufu project. . “This study is an excellent example of the diverse problems that exoplanet scientists can face with Khufu, highlighting the importance of this flexible mission of follow-up.”

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