Two Hot Jupiters Discovered Close-in to Their Star

First Posted: Oct 16, 2015 09:00 PM EDT

Scientists are learning a bit more about hot Jupiters, thanks to some new observations. Researchers have analyzed data from giant telescopes and have found a bit more about how these large, hot planets became so close to their suns.

In this latest study, the researchers used data collected by the K2 mission. They found that, surprisingly, one of the hot Jupiters systems they were studying had not one, but two close-in planetary companions, leading to new clues about planet formation and migration.

"This is really exciting," said Juliette Becker, one of the researchers, in a news release. "People have looked for these planets and have looked in data that exists for hot Jupiters for years and nothing has come up. So people took it to mean that it was not possible to have these close-in planet companions."

Until now, about 300 hot Jupiters have been identified over the past two decades, and this is the first time any close-in planets were discovered. This new discovery, in particular, is helpful to scientists who are trying to understand how planets form and move in solar systems.

"The whole theory of planet formation and migration is not totally understood," said Becker. "Even today there is a lot of active work being done to figure out how Jupiter got where it was. So anything we can discover on how hot Jupiters migrate is useful in understanding planet formation and migration as a whole."

In this latest study, the researchers used data collected from telescopes. They found the existence of two close-in hot Jupiters, which may tell researchers a bit more about the formation of these planets. Currently, the researchers are still examining these planets to learn a bit more about them.

The findings are published in The Astrophysical Journal.

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