- CHEOPS has released the results of its observation on alien planet WASP-189b
- WASP-189b’s orbit is tilted dramatically and orbits its star every 2.7 Earth days
- WASP-189b has temperatures reaching 5,800 Fahrenheit
The European Space Agency’s Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS) has recently discovered an alien planet about 1.6 times the size of Jupiter. Aside from having a strange orbit, it is also scorching hot.
WASP-189b, the newly discovered alien planet, was first detected in 2018 and has been recorded to have temperatures reaching 5,800 Fahrenheit — almost as hot as Earth’s outer core and is even hot enough to turn iron into gas, ESA’s study revealed.
Aside from having a size comparable to Jupiter, the exoplanet is also considered a “Hot Jupiter” due to its extremely short orbital period (2.7 Earth days). A Hot Jupiter is a gas planet with a “Jupiter-like” size that orbits very close to its star.
The star which the alien planet orbits is super hot — more than 2000 degrees hotter than the Sun — so it carries a bluish hue. CHEOPS’ observations show that it is not perfectly round and is larger and cooler at its equator than at its poles.
“Only a handful of planets are known to exist around stars this hot, and this system is by far the brightest,” says Monika Lendl, an astrophysicist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
“WASP-189b is also the brightest hot Jupiter that we can observe as it passes in front of or behind its star, making the whole system really intriguing.”
Unlike Earth’s solar system, where planets orbit at the sun’s equator, WASP-189b orbits its star in such a dramatic tilt that it brings it closer to the star’s poles. This characteristic makes scientists suspect that WASP-189b formed somewhere far away from the star and had just ended up with it due to some powerful gravitational force that kicked the planet inward and askew.
CHEOPS’ observations has also allowed scientists to construct a detailed image of the planet, Space noted. The satellite has been working on discovering alien planets since December 2019 and the results from WASP-189b prove the mission to be fruitful.
The discovery of the new alien planet and its characteristics has opened yet another window for scientists to study exoplanets and the cosmic environment, and eventually to understand more of the Earth by looking beyond.