Astronomers Discovered Two ‘Warm Jupiter’ Exoplanets Orbiting Distant Stars

Warmer than hot Jupiter.

Astronomers Discovered Two 'Warm Jupiter' Exoplanets Orbiting Distant Stars
Image Credit: Nasa

A team of astronomers led by Avi Shporer of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) recently detected two ‘Warm Jupiter’ exoplanets located more than 1,300 light years away from the Earth. These two ‘Warm Jupiter’ exoplanets have the size similar to the Jupiter in our solar system but are extremely warm.

Astronauts assigned these exoplanets as EPIC 211418729b and EPIC 211442297b. They were first recognized as transiting planet candidates in mid-2015 by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft prolonged mission known as K2.

Scientists analyzed the planets between January 2016 and May 2017 by performing high angular resolution imaging. To do so, they used the Keck II telescope of the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Gemini North telescope. They obtained high-resolution spectra and carried out radial velocity monitoring of the stars with the HIRES instrument on the Keck I telescope.

Scientists noted, “We have discovered two transiting warm Jupiter exoplanets initially identified as transiting candidates in K2 photometry. Both newly detected extrasolar worlds are about the size of Jupiter and orbit distant, relatively old stars. However, they vary in mass and are much hotter than our solar system’s biggest planet.”

Astronomers Discovered Two 'Warm Jupiter' Exoplanets Orbiting Distant Stars
Transit light curve of EPIC 211418729b. Credit: Shporer et al., 2017.

The first exoplanet EPIC 211418729b has a radius of 0.94 Jupiter radii. It is also two times massive than Jupiter with an orbital period of 11.4 days and an equilibrium temperature of 719 K.

On the other hand, EPIC 211442297b is less massive than EPIC 211418729b. It has a mass of about 0.84 Jupiter masses with 11% larger radii of Jupiter. This exoplanet has an equilibrium temperature of 682 K and orbits its parent star every 20.3 days.

Scientists noted, “Both planets are among the longest period transiting gas giant planets with a measured mass. In addition, they are not inflated as their radii are typical for such giant planets, consistent with theoretical expectations.”

Now, both exoplanets are targeted for discovery by K2 observations during the mission’s campaign 18. This may uncover more details about these two planetary systems.