New „fiery” exoplanet discovered shows volcanic activity similar to Jupiter’s moons

The exoplanet has a lot in common with Jupiter’s rocky inner moon Io.

New Delhi:

Researchers have discovered a new „fiery, glowing red” exoplanet that shows intense volcanic activity similar to Jupiter’s moon Io.

Also, the exoplanet’s many active volcanoes could make its surface hotter than some stars, they said. In a known star system about 66 light-years from the Sun, astrophysicists have detected signals for a new rocky planet about one-third the size of Earth. These signals were captured by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which searches for exoplanets or planets outside our solar system, orbiting the brightest stars in the sky.

The team, including researchers from the University of California Riverside in the US, discovered that a star system called HD 104067 already harbors a giant planet. While collecting planet data, Stephen Kane, a professor of planetary astrophysics, „unexpectedly” discovered another „emission,” bringing the number of planets in the star system to three.

„At optical wavelengths, you can see a glowing, red-hot planet with a molten volcanic surface,” said Kane, lead author of the study published in The Astronomical Journal.

The newly discovered rocky planet, named TOI-6713.01, has a lot in common with Jupiter’s rocky inner moon Io and is known to be the most volcanically active body in our solar system, Mr Kane said. The researchers explained that the gravitational forces exerted by the other two planets in the system drive the rocky planet into an elliptical or „eccentric” orbit around their star.

The star TOI-6713.01 is closer to than the other planets, and as it orbits and rotates by gravity it „squeezes” the rocky planet, causing ripples on the planet’s surface in the form of volcanoes.
Comparing the scenario to a „rocketball”, Mr Kane explained that the rocky inner planet is heating up as it is constantly bounced around by the other two planets and squeezed by the star. It has been pushed to a situation where volcanoes continue to explode,” he said.

READ  Ending an Era, Lifts Final Delta 4 Heavy-Classified Spy Satellite into Orbit

Intense volcanic activity could make the surface of TOI-6713.01 hotter than some stars, said Mr Kane, who calculated a surface temperature of 2,600 degrees Kelvin, or 2,330 degrees Celsius. The intense volcanic activity on Jupiter’s Io is due to the gravitational pull exerted by the other moons of the largest planet in the Solar System, which has a strong gravitational pull, researchers said.

Io is „forced” into an eccentric orbit around the planet, Mr Kane explained. „If there were no other moons, Io would be in a circular orbit around the planet, and it would be quiet on the surface. Instead, Jupiter’s gravity squeezes Io so hard that it is constantly erupting in volcanoes,” Mr Kane said.

On Earth, tides are the result of the Moon’s gravitational pull on our oceans. The findings reveal a lot about the extremes in energy levels that can be exerted on a rocky planet like TOI-6713.01, the researchers said.

Also, tidal effects on planets have historically not been the focus of exoplanet research, something Mr Kane hopes could change with this discovery. „Although we know that stars contribute to a planet’s heat, most of the energy here is tidal and cannot be ignored,” he said.

(Other than the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *