Chilean astronomers discover two new giant planets



Almost 1500 light-years away from our planet, Chilean scientists found two planets, similar to Jupiter because of their enormous size.

This photo of Jupiter was taken by the Juno probe last December. The two found planets have similar characteristics as this neighbor of the solar system.

Chilean scientists discovered two new exoplanets of the "hot Jupiter" type, huge gas balls similar to the solar system's colossus, according to a statement issued today by the Center for Excellence in Astrophysics and Related Technologies (CATA).

Both objects identified as K2-237 b and K2-238 b, orbit around stars similar to the sun and nearly 1500 light years away from the earth, in the constellations of Ophiuchus and Aquarius.

The first of the planets (K2-237 b) rotates around its star every two days, while the second (K2-238) runs for three days.

Both objects they have a mass that is slightly higher than Jupiter, the fifth planet of the solar system and this is part of the so-called outer or gaseous planets.

"It is estimated that both planets are mainly composed of hydrogen and helium", according to the Doctor in Astronomy of the University of Chile, and currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of London, Queen Mary, Maritza Soto.

Soto, who led the research, explained that there is an important detail in this discovery: the K2-237 b is an inflated planet, that is, the size is much larger than what the theoretical models indicate, because it is a very interesting planet for studies is atmospheric.

According to scientists, the theory states that inflation is caused by the heat that falls on the planet of the star, which penetrates deeply and blows it up like a balloon.

"The most important contribution of the research is that provides evidence for the study of the inflation of planets, which is a phenomenon that is seen in many planets (called) & # 39; hot Jupiter & # 39 ;, but that we still can not understand at all, & dr. Soto.

He explained that the next step in this line of research, in which a dozen scientists have participated, is to study the atmosphere of the planet K2-237 b.

"That will not be immediate, but we hope that data for that purpose will soon be collected," concluded the astronomer.

To detect these planets, various instruments were used in Chile, most in the La Silla Observatory of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in the northern Atacama desert, the most important intergovernmental astronomical organization in Europe and the most productive astronomical observatory. of the world.


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