Two new Jupiter-sized planets discovered orbiting Twin stars

Astronomers have spotted two new Jupiter-sized planets, with each orbiting one star of a binary-star system.

Updated: Oct 02, 2014, 18:01 PM IST
Two new Jupiter-sized planets discovered orbiting Twin stars
NASA

Zee Media Bureau

London: Astronomers have spotted two new Jupiter-sized planets, with each orbiting one star of a binary-star system.

Many stars are part of binary systems, which are Twin stars formed from the same gas cloud.

For the first time, research at Keele University showed that these two stars, WASP-94A and WASP-94B, of a binary system are both found to host a “hot Jupiter” exoplanet.

They first spotted the stars and planets when they found tiny tips in the light of WASP-94A, one of the stars. This suggested that a Jupiter-like planet was transiting the star. Then, they spotted WASP-94B and found that it, too, had a planet.

Marion Neveu-VanMalle (Geneva Observatory), who wrote the announcement paper, explained that they observed the other star by accident and then found a planet around that one also.

The existence of huge, Jupiter-size planets so near to their stars is a long-standing puzzle, since they cannot form near to the star where it is far too hot and they must form much further out, where it is cool enough for ices to freeze out of the proto-planetary disk circling the young star, hence forming the core of a new planet.

Researcher Coel Hellier said that WASP-94 could turn into one of the most important discoveries from WASP-South and the two stars are relatively bright, making it easy to study their planets, so WASP-94 could be used to discover the compositions of the atmospheres of exoplanets.

The research has been published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(With Agency Inputs)