A ‘monster’ planet has been discovered which state that such a massive planetary body cannot form around a small stellar host.
The newly discovered planet ‘NGTS-1b’ is a ‘gas giant.’ Due to its size and temperature, the planet is known as a ‘hot Jupiter’.
Unlike Jupiter, NGTS-1b is very close to its star — just 3% of the distance between Earth and the Sun, and completes an orbit every 2.6 days, meaning a year on NGTS-1b lasts two and a half Earth-days.
Peter said that despite being a monster of a planet, NGTS-1b was difficult to find because its parent star is so small and faint.
The is very challenging circumstances while discovering the planet “small stars like this red M-dwarf are actually the most common in the universe, so it is possible that there are many of these giant planets waiting to be found,” Wheatley said.
NGTS-1b is the first by The Next-Generation Transit Survey (or ‘NGTS’) which employs an array of 12 telescopes to scour the sky.
The researchers made their discovery by continually monitoring patches of the night sky over many months, and detecting red light from the star with innovative red-sensitive cameras. They noticed the light from the star every 2.6 days, implying that a planet was orbiting and periodically blocking the starlight.
Using these data, they then tracked the planet’s orbit and calculated the size, position and mass of NGTS-1b by measuring the radial velocity of the star.