Improve our knowledge of exoplanets. This is the mission of the European Space Agency's Cheops satellite (THAT). And the first data collected by astronomers is as expected. The mission has just characterized one of the hottest and most extreme exoplanets known.

[ON VIDEO] Interview: what is an exoplanet? The question of exoplanets is very old in astronomy. Their existence is indirectly confirmed for the first time in years 1990. Futura-Sciences met Jean-Pierre Luminet, renowned astrophysicist, to tell us more about this exciting topic.

the European Space Agency Mission (THAT) Cheops was launched in December 2019 with a very clear objective: the Stars Near Our Solar System to characterize the planets they host with unprecedented precision. While routine operations did not begin until April of this year, the satellite has already provided useful data Astronomers. Cheops allowed them to learn a little more about it Jupiter ultra-hot wasp-189b. “Proof that the mission keeps its promises in terms of precision and performance”, comment Kate Isaak, scientist of the project in an ESA Communiqué.

Remember a super hot Jupiter This is an exoplanet The gas giant - like Jupiter - is in an orbit very close to its star. An exoplanet which is therefore heated to extreme temperatures. So, WASP-189b is approx 20 times closer to its star than it is Earth to the Sun. She flips it in just 2,7 days.

What makes Wasp-189b even hotter, its star is bigger and hotter than our sun. More than 2000 ° C! "We know that only a handful of planets exist around these hot stars. This system is by far the most brilliant that we know. “, reports Monika Lendl, researcher at the University of Geneva (Suisse).

Astronomers first observed using the Cheops characterization satellite a blanket from Wasp-189b - a passage of the Exoplanet behind its star. The exoplanet being very bright, its passage behind its star is marked by a real hollow luminosity of the system. And the researchers calculated a maximum temperature of 3200 ° C for Wasp-189b! An extreme temperature at which even melting it and turning into gas ...

It was then a transit of Wasp-189b - a passage of the exoplanet in front of its star - that gave astronomers even more information. First of all, consider the radius of Wasp-189b: he's almost 1,6 times the radius of Jupiter. More than what researchers expected. And its orbit is tilted. Wasp-189b does not orbit its star across the equator, but goes through its poles.

A configuration that expands the secret of the formation of hot Jupiter. For a planet to have such a tilted orbit, she must in fact have trained more, then be pushed into the system. Astronomers believe this happens when several planets compete with each other or when an outside influence - for example another star - disrupts the system.. “This first result is extremely exciting” concludes Kate Isaac.

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CHEOPS, Exoplanet, Star, Astronomy, Earth, European Space Agency

World news – FR – European exoplanet hunter Cheops scans an extremely hot world

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