EPIC 220504338b: NASA Kepler K2 mission discovers dense 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet located 1,800 light years from the Earth

01 December 2016, 06:31 PM
NASA Kepler K2 mission discovers one of the densest 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet (Representational picture)
NASA Kepler K2 mission discovers one of the densest 'hot Jupiter' exoplanet (Representational picture)

One of the densest 'hot Jupiters' exoplanet has been discovered by the NASA scientists. The exoplanet is transiting a distant Sun-like star, which is six-billion-year-old and is located 1,800 light years from the Earth. NASA's Kepler K2 mission was first to spot the planet designated EPIC 220504338b.

Nestor Espinoza of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and his team of researchers carried out follow-up observations using European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere’s (ESO) Fibre-fed, Extended Range, Echelle Spectrograph (FEROS).

The team performed radial velocity measurements, thanks to FEROS spectroscopic observations. It was then confirmed EPIC 220504338b is a dense “hot Jupiter” transiting a solar analogue. The measurements also provided initial stellar parameters of its host star.

“We have presented the discovery of EPIC 220504338b, a new hot Jupiter orbiting a metal-rich solar analogue discovered using photometry from Campaign 8 of the K2 mission and follow-up radial velocities using the FEROS spectrograph,” researchers said.

What are Hot Jupiters?

'Hot Jupiters' are gas giant planets which have similar characteristics of the solar system’s biggest planet. Their orbital periods are less than 10 days. As the orbit their parent stars very closely, the temperatures of their surface are high, Phys.org reported.

About EPIC 220504338b

Research said that EPIC 220504338b is around 10 per cent smaller than Jupiter and about 30 per cent more massive. Every 5.8 days, The exoworld orbits its six-billion-year-old Sun-like parent star.

The EPIC 220504338b has a density of nearly 2.1 grammes per cubic centimetre. It has an equilibrium temperature of about 886 degrees Celsius. This makes it one of the densest “hot Jupiters” below two Jupiter masses known to date.
The newly discovered planet’s mass and radius should be on the order of at least 110 Earth masses, researchers said.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Thursday, December 01, 2016 02:15 PM
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