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Astronomers find exoplanet Beta Pictoris b that spins madly

Last Updated: Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 10:20

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Astronomers, for the first time, have been able to measure the rotation of an exoplanet which spins around its axis so fast that a day lasts only 8 hours. This is much quicker than any planet in the Solar System - its equator is moving at almost 100,000 kilometres per hour.
The exolplanet, namely, Beta Pictoris b, is a very young gas giant that orbits the star Beta Pictoris, which is located relatively closer - 63 light years from Earth - and is approximately twice as massive and 10 times as luminous as our Sun.

Using the Doppler effect, scientists were able to measure how fast the exoplanet spins.

Further, the astronomers used high-dispersion spectroscopy to study different wavelengths and colours emitted by the exoplanet.
Discovered around six years ago, Beta Pictoris b is located in the southern constellation of Pictor. It is big, hot and young. It is about more than 16 times larger and 3000 times more massive than the Earth.

It is only about 20 million years old, way younger than Earth, which is about 4.5 billion years old.

(With Agencies inputs)

First Published: Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 10:20
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