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Scientists discover exoplanet that revolves around its sun at record speed

Scientists have discovered an exoplanet that revolves around her mother’s star very quickly. This can be read in the scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. A ‘year’ on NGTS-10b – that is the time it takes to turn around the sun once – only takes eighteen hours.

NGTS-10b is about 1,000 light-years (about 9.5 trillion kilometers) from us. The discovery was made with the transit method, which is based on the fact that the brightness of a star decreases when an object or planet passes through it.

Brightness

Scientists from the University of Warwick now caught sight of a star whose brightness decreased frequently. They found that this is caused by a planet that revolves very close to its mother star. NGTS-10b is said to be only about 2 million kilometers from its star. For comparison: Mercury, the planet closest to the sun in our solar system, is 58 million kilometers away. And the Earth is no less than 148 million kilometers from the sun.

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Scientists discover exoplanet that revolves around its sun at record speed
©ESA – A simulation of an exoplanet that orbits closely around its star.

The result is that NGTS-10b only needs eighteen hours for an orbit around its sun, and that is a new record. Our ‘year’ takes a lot longer: 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes, and 10 seconds.

The planet is said to be twenty percent larger than “our” Jupiter and to have about twice as much mass. One side of NGTS-10b is probably facing the star all the time and, therefore, hot all the time. The temperature is perhaps more than 1,000 degrees.

Future

Because NGTS-10b is so close to its sun, the star’s gravity may tear the planet apart over time. The scientists want to keep an eye on the exoplanet in the coming years to see if its star is swallowing it or whether it is still able to keep turning in circles.

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