Exo-Jupiters’ Commonality and Exclusivity Highlighted in Two New Studies

Image of Jupiter taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Two recent studies explore how Exo-Jupiters might be more common than previously thought along with entire systems being exclusively comprised of them. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)

A pair of recent studies conduct in-depth analyses of Jupiter-sized exoplanets, also known as Exo-Jupiters, and were published in Nature Communications and The Astronomical Journal, respectively. The study published in Nature Communications was conducted by an international team of researchers and examines how Exo-Jupiters could be more common than previously thought, while the study published in The Astronomical Journal was conducted by one researcher and examines exoplanetary system, HD 141399, and how it is comprised entirely of Exo-Jupiters with no additional planets.

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An Exoplanet so Hot it has Clouds Made of Quartz

Artist illustration showing what WASP-17 b could look like based on data obtained from a myriad of ground- and space-based telescopes, including NASA’s Hubble, Webb, and the retired Spitzer space telescopes. This most recent study used MIRI (Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument) to identify nanocrystals of quartz within the clouds WASP-17 b. (Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and R. Crawford (STScI))

A recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters used data obtained by the James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) to identify the presence of quartz nanocrystals in the upper atmosphere of WASP-17 b, an exoplanet whose mass and radius are approximately 0.78 and 1.87 that of Jupiter, respectively, and is located approximately 1,324 light-years from Earth. WASP-17 b is classified as a “puffy” hot Jupiter due to its 3.7-day orbital period, meaning the extreme temperatures could cause unique chemical processes to occur within its atmosphere, but the astronomers were still surprised by the findings.

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Here are the First Pictures from CHEOPS

First image of the star chosen as target for CHEOPS after cover opening. The star, at the centre of the image, is located at a distance of 150 light-years from us, in the constellation of Cancer. Image Credit:ESA/Airbus/CHEOPS Mission Consortium

The CHEOPS spacecraft is taking the first tentative steps in its mission. Back on January 29th, the spacecraft opened the cover on its lens. Now, we have the first images from CHEOPS.

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