January 17, 2022

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Chaps discovered the rugby-ball-shaped planet

Planets are not all spheres… At least, theHe is the Cheops Exoplanet tracking satellite Is allowed to reveal the decay of a planet for the first time, – near a rugby ball – due to the gravitational effect of its star.

The rare bird, known as WASP-103b, is located in the constellation Hercules, about 1,800 light-years from the Solar System.

Very distorted model

A team of astronomers led by Portuguese astronomer Susanna Barros at the University of Porto was looking for the most distorted model near its star, says AFP Jack Lasker, who co-signed the published study. Astronomy & Astronomy.

“We wanted to know if a planet could detect its shape by observing its transit curve,” that is, the variation of light it emits as it moves in front of a star. , Explains an astronomer in Paris. -PSL Monitor. The idea is that “if we had a planet like a rugby ball or a football passing in front of a star, we would not have the same transit curve.”

A planet very close to the sun

The decay of the planet, for its part, should provide information about its internal structure, rather than rock or gas. Because, Susanna Barros noted, “The resistance of a substance to decay depends on its composition.” In a press release from the European Space Agency (ESA)

To be very distorted, the planet must be very close to its star, to better effect the effect of gravity known as the wave force. The same force exerted by the Moon and the Sun on our earth at low speeds is occasionally distorted by a few tens of centimeters. Hence its popular form “potato”.

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The planet WASP-103b is close to its star WASP-103. The Earth is 50 times closer than it is to the Sun. Against our blue planet 365 days, enough to orbit in just 22 hours.

WASP-103b is thus subjected to a tremendous wave force, failing to break it, giving it its rare form far from the sphere.

Hope to know more soon from James Webb?

The team led by Susanna Barros was able to determine that WASP-130b is twice as large as the mass of Jupiter, the gas giant in our solar system, and twice as large as its radius. “So she must be very swollen due to the heat of the star and other means,” said Susanna Barros.

Like Jupiter, it has a solid heart, covered by a layer of liquid, scientists say, surrounded by a gaseous atmosphere. But to be clear, they want to get a tracking time James Webb Space Telescope.

And, “to better understand how she got there,” Jack Lasker insists, “she could not have been born in this place.”